AAFA Weekly Brief
January 24, 2017
Supply Chain
January 23: ... Automation — or the creation of technology systems that eliminate the need for humans to perform certain tasks — is set to transform the global economy. According to a January 2017 report released by the McKinsey Global Institute, tasks that are likely to be automated by 2055 — from predictable physical activities to data collecting and processing — currently make up 51 percent of work tasks in the United States, accounting for almost $2.7 trillion in wages. The industries most likely to be affected include manufacturing and retail. (Source: Business of Fashion)
January 18: If a brand is tied to faulty product claims or child labor, American consumers will neglect it. According to recent Applied DNA Sciences survey conducted by Harris Poll, 30 percent of consumers said they would stop buying from a brand that lies about their product material. And if unethical work practices were involved in manufacturing, three out of five consumers would no longer purchase from that brand. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
January 23: American Apparel & Footwear Association president and chief executive officer Rick Helfenbein sent a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina Wazed on Monday expressing concern with the recent unrest and the resulting arrests of labor leaders and workers’ rights advocates, as well as the termination of thousands of garment workers. AAFA and its member companies also encouraged Wazed to go beyond wage concerns and implement a regular and transparent wage review mechanism for the garment industry, with participation by all relevant stakeholders. (Source: Women's Wear Daily - login required
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January 23: Charting a new American course abroad, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, using one of his first actions in office to reject a centerpiece of Barack Obama's attempts to counter China and deepen U.S. ties in Asia. (Source: Associated Press)
January 20: ... Updating the U.S. tax system — which has been characterized as burdensome, complicated and antiquated — has become a unifying principle of the leadership in Congress and the incoming Trump Administration. Just about everybody agrees that tax reform needs to get done, just about everybody agrees the political climate is ripe for it to get done, and just about everybody agrees on why it should be done. But there is widespread disagreement over exactly what tax reform should entail. ... Back in June, when House Republicans unveiled their tax reform blueprint, they included a proposal known as border adjustability. ... Closer inspection reveals a terrible price to pay — one that would be disastrous for most footwear, apparel and accessories companies. (Source: Sourcing Journal, op-ed by AAFA's Steve Lamar)

January 19: ... Both the Republican-controlled legislature and the president-elect have put forth sweeping changes to the way goods flow in and out of the U.S., with a focus on making it much more expensive to import foreign-made items (and, the theory goes, to incentivize American-made goods). And this is, to put it mildly, an issue of importance for footwear. ... The AAFA’s estimates suggest that the rise could be 10 percent on the low end, or as high as 25 percent, depending on the individual company, the individual shoe, and a number of other factors. (Source: Sole Collector)
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Brand Protection
January 10: Innovation and intellectual property rights have set the United States apart from competitors in recent history, and China seems intent on closing that gap any way it can. A US trade office report out this week on China’s compliance with World Trade Organization rules 15 years after accession show the magnitude of China’s continuing compliance problems related to intellectual property rights. (Source: Intellectual Property Watch)
January 10: The U.S. Supreme Court's interest in intellectual property cases shows no sign of waning, with four argued already this term and two more added to the list in December alone.  ... Here's a look at five of the cases to watch in the year ahead. (Source: The Fashion Law)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Travel Goods update: Last week, the Obama Administration chose to defer a decision regarding the duty-free import of all travel goods from all GSP-eligible countries. The United States Trade Representative will defer to the incoming administration, with the recommendation that it issue a proclamation to provide duty-free treatment with regards to all travel goods products produced in all GSP-eligible countries. AAFA has started the advocacy process with Congress and incoming Administration officials to expedite consideration of this decision, and to secure a favorable outcome as soon as possible. For questions or comments, please contact Steve Lamar or Nate Herman. 

AAFA expresses concern around Bangladesh arrests: Yesterday, AAFA sent this letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressing the industry’s concern with the Bangladeshi government’s handling of the recent labor unrest in Bangladesh. 

Prop 65 Restricted Substances List (RSL) Guidance now updated: To help the U.S. apparel and footwear industry navigate the complicated enforcement of Proposition 65 (Prop 65), AAFA has compiled a specific RSL to serve as a guide to the lowest limits on certain chemicals for products in the fashion and fashion accessories industry. The fifth edition of the Prop 65 RSL is now available to AAFA members here (login required). This will be shared with AAFA members and attendees of AAFA's "What’s on Your Customers’ Shelf? The Latest on Compliance and Restricted Chemicals" seminar today in Long Beach, CA. Questions? Contact Danielle Iverson

New member-only guidance available: In case you missed it – last week AAFA released a new resource, the Joint Disclosure Guide: Meeting the UK Modern Slavery & California Transparency Laws (an AAFA Member Compliance Publication). The guide is meant to help companies publish a single disclosure to comply with both the requirements of the United Kingdom (UK) Modern Slavery Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. Find the guide here (login required).

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.


Member Welcome: Delta Galil Industries

Established in 1975, Delta Galil Industries is a global manufacturer and marketer of private label apparel products for mem, women, and children. Their brand portfolio includes 7 For All Mankind, Ella Moss, Splendid, Schiesser, Delta, P.J. Salvage, Karen Neuburger, Nearly Nude, LittleMissMatched, Fix and licensor for Nike, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, and Columbia.

AAFA Events
Feb. 8 Environmental Committee Meeting
Feb. 9 Social Responsibility Meeting
Feb. 15 Webinar: Best Practices from Vans: Proactively Combatting Counterfeits
Feb. 23 Webinar: The Data You Need to Evaluate Your 2016 Holiday Sales
Feb. 28 Executive Committee & Board of Directors Meeting
Be sure to register today for AAFA's Executive Summit: March 1-3 in Washington, D.C. Rooms at The Watergate Hotel are filling up!
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
Other Industry Events
May 4-5, 2017 | New York City
Nate Herman, AAFA’s Senior Vice President, Supply Chain will present an update on the state-of-play in Washington, D.C., and how it could impact your business. President Trump’s inauguration is now complete and we are all waiting to see what impact the new administration's policies and Congressional legislation will have on trade, regulations, and executive orders. After four months in office come May, Nate will lead a lively debate and provide his insights on the impact to our supply chains and compliance efforts.


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