AAFA Weekly Brief
March 21, 2017
Supply Chain
March 20: Volume shippers seeking ocean freight capacity on the Asia to North Europe trade’s main corridors are set to benefit from the best transit times, most competition and cheapest rates because that is where the new container shipping alliance structure is focused. However, the reverse will be true for shippers seeking capacity on niche trades, where cargo owners face downgraded services, reports container shipping analyst Drewry in today’s Container Insight Weekly bulletin. (Source: Lloyd's Loading List)
March 18: ... Once considered a competitive advantage, store footprints have now become a burden for many chains as more shopping moves online. ... Declining foot traffic and falling profit margins have forced many chains to scale back. Limited Stores Co., RadioShack owner General Wireless Operations Inc. and Gander Mountain Co. have filed for bankruptcy protection this year. Department stores including Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. are closing hundreds of locations. Some retailers intend to use the savings to increase their efforts to capture more e-commerce spending. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
March 16: Apparel, retailer and home textile industry professionals can now access the latest information regarding restricted chemicals. The American Apparel and Footwear Association has issued the 18th edition of its Restricted Substances List (RSL), which includes additions and changes to the regulations covering chemicals in apparel, footwear and finished home textiles around the world. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
Milgram Freight Services
Admiral Consulting Group
March 20: The White House is preparing to order a review of all U.S. trade deals, senior administration officials say, as they seek better terms and aim to fulfill a campaign promise from President Donald Trump. Trump is expected to sign an executive order on reviewing all trade deals, formalizing an administration pledge to reexamine all agreements between the United States and its trading partners. (Source: Politico)
March 20: In many ways, the Republican Party’s plan to implement a "border adjustment tax" in the United States is the virtual complement of the physical wall President Donald Trump plans to erect on the US-Mexican border. But it could end up affecting the average American a lot more — and not necessarily in a good way. ... True, high border taxes could boost US employment. The scheme would require a huge increase in customs agents, and it would most likely lead to significant expansion in the underground economy as people seek to evade the taxes. But are those really the types of jobs proponents of a border tax have in mind? (Source: Boston Globe)
March 17: Germany could file a suit against the United States at the World Trade Organization over President Donald Trump's proposed border tax, the economy minister said on Friday ahead of a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Trump later in the day. (Source: Reuters)
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Brand Protection
March 18: From his desk in a downtown workshop, Greg Hankerson is at war with a Chinese company half a world away. Mr. Hankerson and his wife, Sim, own Vintage Industrial, which designs and makes antique-style tables, cabinets and other furniture. The 25-employee start-up produces everything at its Phoenix factory, much of it by hand. But that hasn’t protected Mr. Hankerson from counterfeiters, who peddle cheap copies of his creations on internet marketplaces run by Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company. ... "[Alibaba is] are a leading technology company," said Stephen Lamar, executive vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which represents many brands hurt by counterfeiting. "It is our hope that they use this technology to develop solutions and make sure those solutions are available for everybody." (Source: New York Times)
March 21: This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a patent dispute, Impression Products Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc. Unlike most patent cases, this one directly affects the daily lives of nearly every American. It requires the court to answer a simple question with profound implications: Does a patent holder have the power to dictate how you use a product after you buy it? (Source: Bloomberg)
March 15: With the impending triggering of Article 50 by the UK government, the legal mechanism for removing the United Kingdom from the European Union, many are beginning to realize that after months of posturing very little has been done to safeguard anything by way of process between the European Union and its soon to be departed member The United Kingdom generally, especially with regard to IP law. ... the Intellectual Property Office in the UK calculated that in 2014 and 2015 the United Kingdom filed the most number of IP registrations for patents and copyrights of any country globally, so in that sense what the United Kingdom does next is kind of a big deal. (Source: IP Watchdog)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

Take action NOW to stop the BAT: Please join more than 4,500 of your industry colleagues in contacting your Members of Congress TODAY to oppose the costly Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). To date, your colleagues have sent more than 14,000 emails and letters to Members of Congress to fight the initiative that would impose income taxes on imports from all countries, jeopardize millions of important U.S. apparel and footwear jobs, and raise prices on everyday consumer products.


AAFA's Restricted Substances List (RSL) Round 18 now available! The 18th edition of the RSL covers 12 categories with more than 250 chemicals and has been updated to reflect additions or changes to regulations and laws that restrict or ban certain chemicals in apparel, footwear, and finished home textile products. AAFA offers access to the RSL to the entire apparel and footwear industry. It can be downloaded here.

Product safety council and related resourcesAAFA's Product Safety Council (PSC) provides updates on industry best practices and national and international regulatory compliance developments. PSC members develop industry tools that help apparel and footwear companies navigate current and future product safety regulations. Did you know AAFA maintains a list of every fashion and fashion-accessory related notice for the past six years in the AAFA Prop 65 "60-Day Notice" running list? AAFA also maintains a list of all apparel or footwear related recalls since 1975. Join the PSC and AAFA’s other committees here

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for travel goods updateAAFA and more than a dozen other trade associations sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump on Monday, March 20, urging designation of all statutorily eligible travel goods for all GSP beneficiary countries. 

SEC conflict minerals letterOn March 16, AAFA sent a letter to the Secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), urging review of the SEC's current conflict minerals regulation because of the immense time and resources involved with complying with this regulation for an industry that, at best, only uses trace amounts of the minerals in question. The regulation has had very little, if any, positive impact on the ground.

AAFA support for labor secretary nominee: On March 20, AAFA signed on to a letter of support, signed by a total of 70 trade associations, endorsing Labor Department secretary nominee Alex Acosta. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Wednesday, March 22, at 9:00 AM ET.

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: ECT Testing and Inspection

ECT Testing and Inspection is the largest local apparel and footwear lab of the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) in China. Four branches are located in Beijing (headquarters), Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. ETC supplies consulting and testing services as a reliable and trustworthy third party testing and inspection lab in China, devoted to worldwide testing service in South-East Asia, South Asia, Africa Lab, etc.
AAFA Events
March & April
March 22-23 Government Relations Committee Meeting and Day on the Hill
March 30 Webinar: Product Development, Sourcing, & Supplier Collaboration - An Ariat Story
April 12 Webinar: DETOXing Your Supply Chain
April 24 2017 AAFA American Image Awards

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

Save the date!
AAFA’s Traceability Seminar will be held July 19 in Chicago! Additional details to follow.



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