AAFA Weekly Brief
November 1, 2016
Supply Chain
October 31: Three major Japanese container shipping lines said Monday they plan to merge their shipping and overseas terminal operations as the industry struggles with overcapacity and mounting losses. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen K.K. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, or K Line, said in a statement that they are forming a joint venture to unite their shipping operations. They also are merging terminal management businesses outside Japan. (Source: New York Times)
October 27: Non-profit corporations are suing Suffolk County and county officials, alleging violation of state and federal law. ... According to the complaint, the plaintiffs suffered economic damages due to a local law that prevents them from doing business in Suffolk County. The plaintiffs allege the defendants enforced a local law that violates a federal law that already regulates hazardous exposure to harmful substances. (Source: Legal NewsLine)
October 26: Auditing suppliers is widely considered the gold-standard for enforcing ethical values. But among the disturbing revelations that emerged from the BBC’s investigation into the Turkish clothing industry was the often ineffectual impact of audits, especially in spotting child labor. There were two key troubling findings that emerged: Firstly, that auditors can be duped. Secondly, that suppliers engage in ‘unauthorized outsourcing’, which is veiled from the audit’s view. Although both are different problems, they stem from a shared cause: deviant suppliers that are willing to break the rules and deceive the buyer.
(Source: Forbes)
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October 31: The sounds of baseball in October mean the postseason and the World Series. Meanwhile, the sounds of international trade policy bashing can only mean an election around the corner. Turns out we can learn a lot about international trade policy from baseball. Let's take a look at seven lessons. (Source: The Hill, op-ed by AAFA's Steve Lamar)
October 27: Why is the TPP so controversial? This is an important question. And the answer reflects a larger paradox we're facing today—including some misconceptions about the effects of globalization, technology, past trade agreements, as well as some misunderstandings about the Trans-Pacific Partnership itself. (Source: Newsweek)
October 27: Failure to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal would be a major setback for U.S. interests in Asia as Washington seeks to deepen alliances in the region, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday, urging Congress to ratify the pact. ... "If we see the TPP rejected, it would be a gigantic self-inflicted wound – a setback to our own interests in the region," Kerry told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in remarks that drew a smattering of applause and boos. (Source: Crain's Chicago Business)
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Brand Protection
October 26: The American Apparel & Footwear Association, along with 17 additional industry organizations, submitted a letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today, reiterating its request to have Alibaba listed as a notorious market. In a sign of solidarity, the letter was signed by organizations located throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, representing a variety of industries and interests. (Source: AAFA press release)

Rick Helfenbein was featured discussing counterfeits on Alibaba platforms in a television interview with CNN Money. Read more in Fashion United, Securing Industry, and The Wall Street Journal.
October 28: Managing fraud can cost a merchant millions, and online retailers are too reliant on verifying purchases with a username and password, according to a new study. E-retailers spend more than 7% of their total annual revenue combatting fraud, according to a new study from research consulting firm Javelin Strategy and Research LLC. (Source: Internet Retailer)
October 25: As companies increasingly consider utilizing 3-D printing in the production of apparel and footwear, they may not be aware of potential legal implications down the line. ... From a creative standpoint, 3-D printing encourages artistic expression and expands a designer’s ability to create. On the other hand, it also brings a whole new set of issues to the table, including IP rights violations, or counterfeiting. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
Foreign trade barrier comments: On October 27, AAFA submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in preparation for the annual National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers.

Tracking election results: For live election results on November 8, follow updates on www.clothespac.org or www.EmployeesVote.org. AAFA members can register here for our exclusive post-election webinar "The Elections - An Initial Look for AAFA Members" coming up Thursday, November 10 at 2:00 PM ET.  

Meet AAFA’s Government Relations (GR) Committee: Did you know that the GR Committee hosts a conference call every month for Committee members to discuss recent trade, legislative, and political developments, and identify how they may affect your business? There’s still time for Committee members to sign up for the GR Committee Meeting and Day on the Hill November 16 and next conference call on December 6. 

See all of AAFA’s latest letters, comments, and testimony here
Congress and government agencies solicit comments on a range of issues that may affect your business – find a list of comment opportunities here.
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AAFA Events
Nov. 3 Webinar: Give Consumers What They Want! Responsibly & Transparently Sourced Apparel & Footwear
Nov. 10 Webinar: The Elections - An Initial Look for AAFA Members
Nov. 14 TPP Workshop in Vietnam 
Nov. 15 International Product Safety and Compliance Conference in Vietnam 
Nov. 16-17 Government Relations Full Committee Meeting and Day on the Hill
Nov. 29 Fall 2016 Environmental Committee Meeting
Nov. 30 Fall 2016 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting

Join AAFA in San Francisco Nov. 30!

Hear from Abercrombie & Fitch, Facebook, Levi's, Pinterest, TOMS, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, and more at Knock it Off! Brands & the Counterfeiting Quandary Workshop


Visit our events calendar for all webinars and industry events. Be sure to save the date for AAFA's Executive Summit: March 1-3, 2017 at the newly remodeled Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. 

Other Industry Events 
November 30, 2016 | New York, NY 

Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the national charitable foundation of the U.S. footwear industry, will host its 77th annual VIP Dinner and Gala on November 30, 2016. The evening of philanthropy and entertainment will be held at the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City’s Manhattan Center. Click here for more information.



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