AAFA Weekly Brief
February 14, 2017
Supply Chain
February 14: ... Even as President Donald Trump pressures other businesses to ramp up their American-based production, experts agree the "Made in the USA" movement is unlikely to take hold in the luxury sector anytime soon. ... "We speak to a lot of our members and they're all rethinking how they do business," [Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association] said about his trade association's 1,000-plus members. "That doesn't necessarily mean that you'll see a tremendous increase in U.S. factories doing this, but there will be an attempt to use more U.S. fabric to run pilot plants [here] to see if things can be delivered quicker." (Source: CNBC)
February 13: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released ‘Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector’. This will help companies identify and prevent potential negative impacts related to human rights, labour, the environment and corruption in garment and footwear supply chains worldwide. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
February 9: Karen Harvey, who advises Burberry, Coach, and Tiffany, explains why fashion leaders must take a page from Silicon Valley to stay in vogue. ... I sat down with Harvey to talk about how she is shepherding the world's top brands into this digital future... (Source: Fast Company)
Milgram Freight Services
February 13: President Donald Trump said on Monday the United States would be "tweaking" its trade relationship with Canada, stopping short of calling for a major realignment in a development likely to please visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump has pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) linking the economies of the United States, Mexico and Canada to make the terms more favorable to Americans. At a joint news conference with Trudeau after White House talks, Trump said his biggest concern with NAFTA was the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico, which he has frequently accused of stealing American jobs. (Source: Reuters)
February 13: Chief executives of some of America's largest retailers, including Target Corp (TGT.N) and Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N), are headed to Washington this week to make their case that a controversial tax on imports would raise consumer prices and hurt their businesses, according to people familiar with the plan. The group of eight retail bosses, that also includes chief executives of Gap Inc (GPS.N) and Autozone Inc (AZO.N), will meet on Wednesday with Kevin Brady, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, and with members of the Senate, four people said in recent days. Reuters could not confirm the full list of participants. This is the first time well-known retail CEOs will descend on Washington as a group to try to make the case to kill the import tax proposal. Their input has more urgency as U.S. President Donald Trump is finalizing his own tax plan that he plans to unveil in the coming weeks.
(Source: Reuters)
February 12: There’s nothing more American — and Mexican — than a pair of jeans. U.S. cotton bales are gathered from Texas to the Carolinas and shipped as fluff, yarn or fabric across the border to Mexico, where they are cut, sewn and pieced together. Around 40% of men’s and boy’s jeans in the U.S. are imported from Mexico, according to the U.S.’s International Trade Administration... . With President Donald Trump ’s plans to build a wall at the border, renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and levy a tax on Mexican imports, cotton traders and farmers are increasingly worried their relationship with Mexico will be upended. They fear his policies will hurt prices for one of the country’s historic crops, close factories in Mexico and fail to bring back jobs to the U.S. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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Brand Protection
February 14: Alibaba Group said today it has officially filed a lawsuit against a domestic intellectual property right agency, which made complaints about Alibaba’s vendors over fake intellectual property documents or trademark proofs, and Beijing Dongcheng District People's Court has accepted the case. Alibaba said that Hangzhou Wangwei Technology Co. has been abusing the counterfeit notice and takedown system by providing malicious or false IPR complaints. (Source: Shanghai Daily)
February 12: While calls for widespread patent reform are not as loud as they have been in previous years, 2017 is shaping up to be a year where we may still see significant change to U.S. patent laws. What will the changes to U.S. patent laws look like over the next year? The better question may be to first ask whether those anticipated changes will be coming from the judiciary, legislative or executive branch, all of which will take center stage at some point in 2017. (Source: IPWatchdog)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
The envelope please...meet the 2017 American Image Awards honorees! Earlier this week, we proudly announced our 2017 American Image Awards honorees. The awards will be presented on April 24 in NYC to: Andrew Rosen, Founder and CEO of Theory (Person of the Year); Marc Fisher Footwear (Company of the Year); Stuart Vevers of Coach, Inc. (Designer of the Year); Nick Graham (Fashion Maverick); and Ed Nardoza (Lifetime Achievement Award). Award winning stage and screen actor Alan Cumming will emcee the gala, which benefits The Council of Fashion Designers of America Foundation's Fashion Manufacturing Initiative. For more information and tickets, click here. Recent news about the awards and gala: FashionManiac, Fashion United, Fibre2Fashion, MR Magazine, andWomen’s Wear Daily.


Annual Market Monitor reports: Every year, AAFA provides members with the Annual Apparel and Footwear Market Monitor. This report, with data by NPD Group, provides AAFA members with critical insights around sales of apparel and footwear products in the U.S. market. It also shares data about movements in the market that may impact your business and how you stack up against the competition. Members can now download the 4th Quarter 2016 and full 2016 Annual edition from the Business Intelligence section of AAFA's website (member login required).

Don't miss our webinar with NPD Group coming up on February 23: The Data You Need to Evaluate Your 2016 Holiday Sales! 

AAFA internships & Two Ten scholarships: Know a great intern candidate? AAFA is accepting applications for interns in both our Government Relations and Communications & Marketing departments for summer 2017. More information is available here. We are also pleased to share that the Two Ten Footwear Foundation provides scholarship opportunities for footwear employees and their families, based on financial need, academic ability, and personal promise. Recipients can receive up to $3,000 a year for four years of higher education. Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year are due by April 1, 2017. Learn more here.

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.

AAFA Events
February & March
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
Mar. 1-3 AAFA Executive Summit

Mar. 15 Webinar: Energize the World's Oldest Material with a New Marketing Message
Mar. 22-23 Government Relations Committee Meeting and Day on the Hill

Celebrate those who have transformed fashion
and our business at the
AAFA American Image Awards!

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


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