AAFA Weekly Brief
March 28, 2017
Supply Chain
March 26: Canal Street was never a high-end retail experience. But, like many streets in New York City and in cities across the US, it is becoming increasingly desolate. ... "It’s not Trump," said one downcast store-owner recently. "It’s not the economy. Something else is happening. People aren’t spending." This week, Credit Suisse downgraded the retail sector, saying the outlook had become bleaker than it had anticipated in large part because of events in Washington and through discussion of "whether we think the risks of the border adjustment provision in the House corporate tax reform proposal are fully reflected in apparel and retailing stocks". (Source: The Guardian)
March 24: The European Union has warned Bangladesh of suspending trade preferences unless the country makes progress in the implementation of worker rights. Three European Commission bodies in a joint communique on March 18 said it was essential that Bangladesh implemented the four recommendations made by an International Labour Organisation committee last year, or risk being shut out from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences that it enjoyed. (Source: Dhaka Tribune)
March 24: Amazon, the online merchandise juggernaut, will collect sales taxes from all states with a sales tax starting April 1. Tax-free shopping will be over as of next month in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico, the four remaining holdouts. Since the beginning of this year, Amazon has added a number of states to its roster of jurisdictions where it collects sales taxes. (Source: CNBC)
Milgram Freight Services
Admiral Consulting Group
March 23: Trade policy now seems to be at a crossroads — a jump ball, as it were. As we enjoy the second half of the NCAA Tournament, let's look at four similarities between trade and college basketball. (Source: The Hill, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
March 22: We've been talking a lot about NAFTA this week, but let's get down to brass tacks: What did the North American Free Trade Agreement do? President Donald Trump (not to mention Sen. Bernie Sanders) made NAFTA as a favorite target during the presidential campaign. They'll both tell you it was a "disaster" for the U.S. economy, that it cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs. The reality is not nearly as dramatic or tidy a story. (Source: Marketplace)
March 21: A slew of industry groups has issued a fresh request to President Trump to immediately provide duty-free access to the U.S. for all eligible travel goods products in the Generalized System of Preferences from all GSP countries. Trump’s U.S. Trade Representative pick Robert Lighthizer, in response to questions submitted for the record following his March 14 confirmation hearing, remained non-committal when pressed on the issue by senators from both sides of the aisle. Lighthizer in response to questions by Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Finance members Pat Roberts (R-KS) and John Cornyn (R-TX), said he would look into the issue but offered no hint as to how he would advise Trump. (Source: Inside U.S. Trade - article unlocked)
Do you have a solid supply chain strategy?
Milgram Freight Services
Importing to Canada? We’re Canadian and we know Canada and its customs! Milgram is a premium Canadian Customs Broker servicing the largest apparel companies for over 65 years. We are also experts in International Freight and Truck Transportation. Visit us online or call us for a consultation to learn more about what Milgram can for you.
Brand Protection
March 23: On Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled in the Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands case, which centered on the issue of copyrighting the chevron, stripe, and other patterns of cheerleading uniforms. ... to those inside the fashion world, this was a landmark that has potential to resonate in the industry for years to come. Not only is the suit the first time the Supreme Court has ever heard a case centering on apparel design copyrights, but the 6–2 ruling in favor of Varsity Brands allows elements of a garment’s design to be protected by copyright law. (Source: Vogue)
March 21: Amazon.com Inc is expanding a program to remove counterfeit goods from its website this spring as part of a broader push to assure brand owners that the online retailer is an ally rather than a threat. As early as next month, any brand can register its logo and intellectual property with Amazon so the e-commerce company can take down listings and potentially seller accounts when counterfeits are flagged ... The so-called brand registry, which had been in a test phase, will be widely available for free in North America ... ." (Source: Reuters)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

Take action NOW to stop the BAT: Did you know that more than 4,500 of your industry colleagues have contacted your Members of Congress 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. Take action here today.


Welcome to our new Government Relations Committee leadership! Congratulations to Bryan Wolfe, Vice President, International Trade, Ann. Inc., and Stephanie Lester, Senior Director, Government Affairs, GAP Inc, on being elected Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Government Relations Committee. Thanks also to Jerry Cook, Vice President, Government and Trade Relations, HanesBrands, Inc., who stepped down as Chairman of the Committee after serving for 11 years in that capacity. During Jerry’s tenure as Government Relations Committee Chairman, AAFA was at the forefront of many notable trade, regulatory, and legislative "wins" on behalf of the industry, including implementation of about half a dozen free trade agreements, multiple defenses of the First Sale doctrine, several corrections to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and enactment of preference legislation on Africa, Haiti, and travel goods.  

AAFA comments on proposal to create an organic research and promotion board: On March 16, AAFA submitted comments opposing a rule proposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service to create an Organic Research and Promotion Board. The proposed research and promotion board would be funded by assessments placed on production of organic materials and imports of products containing organic materials.

Multi-association comments to EPA regarding chemical risks: AAFA signed on to a multi-association letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with 27 other groups on March 15. This letter urges the EPA to perform chemical risk assessments using the following practices: consult industry sources, consider only the "intended use" of the chemical, use scientific methods and sound science, use high quality data from credible sources, and focus on risk evaluation - not assessment of alternative chemicals.

One month to go! Join us at the American Image Awards gala: Have you seen who's taking the stage to accept awards on Monday, April 24 in New York City? We're thrilled to honor Andrew Rosen, Marc Fisher Footwear, Stuart Vevers, Nick Graham, and Ed Nardoza at the 2017 American Image Awards! Actor Alan Cumming will emcee the gala. Read more from AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein.

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: Lectra

In a dynamic fashion environment, companies need to adapt to meet consumer expectations without sacrificing brand equity. With 40 years of international fashion and apparel expertise, Lectra has the experience to address a modern fashion way of working and help companies build better products faster.
AAFA Events
March & April
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.

Learn the latest in product safety and sourcing at AAFA Supply Chain Week this June! 


Other Industry Events
NYC MarkMonitor Summit 2017
April 25, 2017 | New York City

Brand protection today matters more than ever, and brand owners must develop the right industry relationships and follow the latest innovations to be successful. Hear from AAFA’s own Steve Lamar at MarkMonitor’s NYC Summit. Steve will be joined by key government officials, law enforcement agencies, IP and legal professionals, and MarkMonitor customers who will share best practices that will impact your approach to brand protection.



Search Past Editions | Advertise

We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
Your email will be kept private and confidential.