AAFA Weekly Brief
December 6, 2016
Supply Chain
December 3: William Doyle, a commissioner at the Federal Maritime Commission, has warned the new container grouping THE Alliance that it will need to change the details of its working structure as it appears too monopolistic. Speaking to the North Atlantic Ports Association earlier this week, Doyle said: "I have serious concerns with proposed language in the agreement related to the joint contracting and purchasing power." (Source: Splash 24/7)
November 30: The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision to require the Department of Defense to provide military recruits with American-made shoes, a longstanding effort that’s been praised by officials at shoe manufacturer New Balance, which employs 900 in Maine. Maine U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin championed the change and announced its presence in the authorization act on Wednesday. (Source: CentralMaine.com)
November 29: The Environmental Protection Agency has named the first 10 chemicals it will investigate using new powers granted by Congress last spring. In May Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act, a 40-year old law intended to ensure the safety of the growing array of new chemicals being created, like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). The original law was written with an eye toward balancing the EPA’s regulatory responsibilities against the financial interests of the chemical industry. (Source: Forbes)
Milgram Freight Services
December 5: ... The president-elect’s [recent] tweets seemed to suggest he seeks to implement a 35 percent tariff on companies that move jobs overseas in the future. And so for industries such as the apparel and footwear industry, that specific policy might not be terribly meaningful. "We’re an industry that’s been global for a generation," said Stephen Lamar, an executive vice president at American Apparel & Footwear Association ... "To us, the argument isn’t really about bringing jobs back or stopping jobs from leaving, but how do we just flat out create new jobs in the United States?" Lamar said. Lamar said those new jobs could be in emerging areas such as robotics and 3D printing, which might be used to manufacture clothes. Also, there is activity around so-called "smart fabrics" that include embedded sensors or other tech. (Source: Washington Post)
November 30: Republicans in the U.S. Congress hope to convince President-elect Donald Trump to support an untested strategy of using the tax code to promote exports while slashing corporate taxes, framing it as a way to fulfill his campaign promises to restore blue-collar jobs. The plan would be one way to help Republican lawmakers reconcile their long-standing goal of tax cuts with the often populist campaign rhetoric of Trump, who has attacked the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other trade deals as bad for U.S. workers. (Source: Reuters)
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Brand Protection
December 5: Representatives from a number of global shipping companies, logistics firms, anti-counterfeiting organisations and multinational brand owners signed a declaration of intent last week aimed at preventing the maritime transportation of counterfeit goods. While described as "historic" by those involved, commentators say success will require a line-up of projects to curb the billions of dollars of counterfeit goods being shipped around the world. The declaration came about following increased brand owner concerns that vessels shipping legitimate products were being exploited by criminal networks to transport counterfeit goods. (Source: World Trademark Review)
November 30: ... Mr. Ji is what is known in China as a professional counterfeit hunter. Part Ralph Nader, part bounty hunter, Mr. Ji rummages for fake or substandard goods in shops. Then, using China’s consumer protection laws, he collects tens of thousands of dollars from the companies that make or sell them. The laws are part of China’s growing effort to weed out the fake clothes, electronics, food and furniture that swamp its stores and frustrate companies and consumers alike. (Source: New York Times)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
In case you missed it - ApparelStats and ShoeStats 2016 now available: AAFA has released its latest ApparelStats and ShoeStats reports for AAFA members. ApparelStats 2016 and ShoeStats 2016 provide snapshots of U.S. apparel and footwear industry market trends for 2015. The reports are the most comprehensive and authoritative sources for U.S. apparel and footwear industry statistics for data through 2015. Comprised of data drawn from a variety of sources, the reports contain information on imports, retail sales, retail prices, consumption, employment, exports, and domestic production. To access these reports, click here (member login required). For questions, contact AAFA’s Nate Herman.

National Defense Authorization Act update: Last week the House approved a $619 billion Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to articulate defense policies and funding levels for the coming year. Among the provisions is an AAFA-supported requirement that the military source its athletic shoes using the Berry Amendment. Senate action is expected this week. For more information, contact AAFA’s Steve Lamar.

Meet AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee: AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee (GCC) keeps members apprised of developments that bear on the needs and requirements of the U.S. military and other parts of the U.S. government with respect to the procurement of clothing and shoes. AAFA will soon begin sending weekly alerts advising of domestic sourcing opportunities. If you’re looking to increase your U.S. manufacturing footprint, this will provide you a regular way to identify U.S.-based production capabilities. If you’re looking for more business for your U.S. manufacturing facilities, this service will link you up with individuals in our industry looking to find such business. To discuss how you can plug in to this exciting new opportunity, please contact Steve Lamar. More information will follow.

Last week in NYC: AAFA hosted the Fall 2016 Environmental Committee Meeting to discuss the latest in environmental and sustainability issues facing the apparel and footwear industry. AAFA also hosted the Fall 2016 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting for updates on social compliance issues facing the industry. Both were hosted at the Infor offices in New York - thank you Infor! For more on how to join these committees, contact Nate Herman or visit our committee descriptions page here

Improving implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act: On November 29, AAFA signed onto a joint letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy in conjunction with the American Alliance for Innovation (AAI). The letter outlines several areas the group would like EPA to evaluate regarding the Agency’s efforts to implement the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA). Under LSCA, the EPA is required to evaluate the safety of existing chemicals in commerce, starting with those most likely to cause risks, possibly resulting in a reduction of state level chemical management initiatives. AAFA will continue to engage with the EPA to ensure decisions regarding the implementation of LSCA are based on the best available science and promote a sound chemicals management policy.

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
December & January
Dec. 7 Webinar: CSR with WRAP - A New Approach to Working Hours
Dec. 12 Webinar: Supply Chain Slavery Threats and Trends
Dec. 14 Member-only Webinar: What Do the "Border Adjustability" Tax Proposals Mean for You?
Dec. 15 Webinar: Counterfeits on the Rise - Challenges and Best Practices
Jan. 24 What’s on Your Customers’ Shelf? The Latest on Compliance and Restricted Chemicals 

Be sure to save the date for AAFA's Executive Summit: March 1-3, 2017 at the impressive Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events. 

Integrate your marketing strategy and sponsor an AAFA event or webinar in 2017!

Contact Megan Balkovic to discuss how to leverage your membership to build business opportunities.
Other Industry Events
January 25-26, 2017 | Orlando, FL
Each year, the PGA Merchandise Show gathers 40,000+ industry leaders representing 74 for its premier golf merchandise show. This year, complimentary education conference sessions will be held Jan. 25-26 and will cover numerous topics that will play a role in sourcing next year, including the recent U.S. presidential election, labor concerns, the activewear market, new sourcing strategies, and wearable technology. AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein will present a special keynote, "Sourcing Merchandise in the New Political Environment."


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