AAFA Weekly Brief
February 21, 2017
Supply Chain
February 17: As crowds revel in the glitz and glam of New York Fashion Week in downtown Manhattan, waves of lesser-known designers are crafting an entirely different fashion revolution over the Brooklyn Bridge — one that could speak to the future of the industry. ... Yes, you'll still find synthetics that are made with a host of potentially harmful toxins on shelves — think polyester, nylon, and perhaps worst of all, acrylic. And yes, even natural materials like cotton and silk are often still treated with harsh chemicals in the growing and dying processes. (In fact, The American Apparel and Footwear Association estimates that up to 250 substances used in clothing production are associated with some sort of safety concern.) But large-scale brands are also beginning to create lines that repurpose used materials and showcase new ones that have next-to-no environmental impact. (Source: MindBodyGreen)
February 16: Cargo companies and the union representing longshore workers at East Coast and Gulf Coast seaports are getting an early start on contract negotiations at gateways long marked by tensions. This week, the International Longshoremen’s Association held informal contract talks in Florida with the United States Maritime Alliance Ltd., which represents the employers of some 25,000 unionized Atlantic and Gulf Coast port workers. ... The meeting came 19 months before the current contract, agreed to in 2013, is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2018. Exploratory talks began in 2015, after protracted and contentious labor negotiations at West Coast seaports led to slowdowns and congestion at ports on that side of the country. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
February 13: International textiles buyers are increasingly switching away from China, and back to Western suppliers, as rising labor, raw material and energy costs make the world's dominant producer more expensive. In Biella, a small town in the foothills of the Alps at the heart of northern Italy's wool industry, factory owners say a narrowing price difference with China and demands for nimbler production nearer home are winning back higher-end customers. (Source: Reuters)
Milgram Freight Services
February 17: Australia and New Zealand have agreed to work together to try to breathe life into the stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The country's Prime Ministers held formal meetings in Queenstown [Friday], along with a joint media conference. Speaking at the media conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Mr English said New Zealand and Australia were to work together to engage with other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members to take the stalled deal forward. (Source: RNZ)
February 16: ... Regardless of which campaign promises on trade the Trump Administration seeks to deliver, we are at a natural inflection point. While the election was not about trade per se, it is clear that our new political leadership and many in the American public would like to look at trade differently – a change in perspective, if you will. (Source: Trade Vistas, op-ed by AAFA's Steve Lamar)
February 16: ... In meetings with administration officials and Senate leaders, Ryan has framed his proposal as a compromise between a tariff, which the president wants, and conservative orthodoxy against border taxes. He has suggested it's in keeping with President Donald Trump’s "America first" mantra, since it would reward American manufacturers that make products here and sell it abroad. But the idea is sharply dividing Republicans — even within the White House. ... A handful of Ways and Means Republicans — including some with close ties to Trump — are fretting that retailers slapped with an import tax will ultimately pass the cost onto consumers. (Source: Politico)
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Brand Protection
February 20: The number of intellectual property lawsuits filed in Chinese courts is steadily growing, and nearly one in six are being filed by non-Chinese entities. According to a report compiled by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, which reflects on the cases it oversaw in 2015, the majority of lawsuits were based on claims of trademark or patent infringement. The plaintiffs have included luxury brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, and Fortune 500 companies, such as General Electric, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. (Source: The Fashion Law)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
Border adjustment tax update: AAFA has joined with more than 150 trade associations and companies for the launch of the Americans for Affordable Products coalition. We are receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries and comments from members, and have been sharing these thoughts with the Trump administration, members of the House's Ways and Means Committee, members of the Senate Finance Committee, and directly with the authors of the bill.

To get involved, you can join thousands of your colleagues in telling Congress how this provision could impact your business here. We are also hosting a meeting at MAGIC tomorrow (February 22) from 8:00 to 9:00 AM PT.   

AAFA staff welcome: AAFA is excited to announce the newest addition to the Education and Corporate Marketing department, Katie Gissendanner. Meet Katie and the rest of our team here

Seeking customs updates? Join our mailing list: AAFA’s Nate Herman provides a regular email update to inform AAFA members about the latest customs-related issues and news affecting the apparel and footwear industry. From time to time, we also request input from members for comments, letters, and testimony to the U.S. government and Congress. For more information, contact Nate Herman. We also invite you to attend AAFA’s new Supply Chain Week June 5-8, 2017 in New York – learn more here.

One week to the AAFA Executive Summit! We are excited to welcome more than 200 attendees to the AAFA Executive Summit next week, March 1-3 in D.C. There’s still time to register if you haven’t already. Questions? Contact Susan Lapetina, AAFA's Senior Vice President of Education and Corporate Marketing.

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. 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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