AAFA Weekly Brief
April 18, 2017
Supply Chain
April 17: President Donald Trump on Tuesday will sign an executive order aimed at bolstering his pledge to "buy American and hire American" by directing federal agencies to probe government procurement practices and re-examine all programs under which workers enter the United States from abroad — including H-1B visas, a key priority for tech companies. The "Buy American" aspect of the order will focus primarily on "the twin pillars of maximizing ‘Made in America’ content and minimizing waivers and exceptions to ‘Buy American’ laws," a senior administration official told reporters late Monday afternoon. (Source: Politico)
April 17: Global sourcing is facing tough times to say the least, as is retail, and with threats like the Border Adjustment Tax looming, there’s a lot to consider in navigating this new, complex landscape. Paula Zusi, global operations advisor for retail supply chain with private equity firm Advent International, officially takes over duties as chairman of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) this month, and there’s no small set of tasks to tackle ahead of her. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
April 15: Along the cobblestone streets of SoHo, Chanel handbags and Arc’teryx jackets are displayed in shops like museum pieces, harking back to the height of the neighborhood’s trendiness. But rents there are softening, and the number of vacant storefronts is rising. Today, some of the most sought-after real estate by retailers is not in SoHo, but five miles away in Red Hook, a gritty Brooklyn enclave with a shipbuilding past. E-commerce merchants are vying to lease part of a huge warehouse space, spanning 11 acres, that would allow them to deliver goods the same day they’re ordered online. The profound reordering of New York’s shopping scene reflects a broad restructuring in the American retail industry. (Source: New York Times)
April 13: GAM Enterprises Inc., a manufacturer of precision mechanical components used in factory automation, began moving operations back to the U.S. from Germany three years ago ... It wasn’t easy. Bringing its manufacturing back to the U.S. cost GAM nearly $4 million and required technical and financial assistance from Illinois and the U.S. Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership. ... Other companies may encounter similar hurdles as they weigh the pros and cons of producing their goods in the U.S. again, or in some cases for the first time, amid pressure from President Donald Trump and the potential for a border-adjusted tax that would penalize importers. ... Reshoring challenges are especially pronounced for small businesses in sectors where the U.S. ecosystem of manufacturers, suppliers and skilled workers has largely disappeared. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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April 17: The Trump administration is unlikely to meet its self-declared August deadline for enacting tax reform, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Monday. That will make it more difficult for companies to factor any changes into their spending decisions for next year. ... Mnuchin said Monday that he still expected tax reform to be enacted this year. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
April 14: We can learn a lot about trade agreements from long-distance running. The 121st running of the Boston Marathon on April 17 reminds us that trade negotiations are often similar to marathons. (Source: The Hill, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
April 13: It must be Groundhog Day in Washington, D.C. because our heads just popped up after a very long (and brutal) campaign season, as President Trump suddenly declared that China is not going to be labeled a currency manipulator. ... This all goes back to the adage that appears every baseball season with "say it ain’t so, Joe."  Sometimes, we just don’t want to hear the truth but, in fact, by our own rule of law, China does not manipulate their currency. (Source: The Hill, op-ed from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein)
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Brand Protection
April 17: American leadership in intellectual property (IP) presents one of our economy’s greatest strengths and biggest challenges. ... IP supports more than 45 million American jobs in 81 different industries. Total merchandise exports of IP-intensive industries make up more than half of all U.S. exports, or $842 billion, and almost 40% of U.S. GDP. Yet the prevalence of our IP is also what makes it particularly susceptible to theft in a 21st century global economy. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), U.S. brands and patents are more likely to be infringed than those of any other nation, making up as much as 20% of all goods seized in the global counterfeit trade. Americans pay a dear price for this IP theft: the National Crime Prevention Council estimates that counterfeiting and piracy alone cost the U.S. as much as 750,000 jobs and $250 billion in revenue each year. (Source: Forbes)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

Take action NOW to stop the BAT: Ask us about the latest ways to help educate, advocate, collaborate, and mitigate as it relates to AAFA’s response to the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). Here are two ways to engage:
Share your perspectives with AAFA using this this survey.

Amplify our industry's concerns by sending a letter to your Member of Congress and encouraging your colleagues to send letters too - and/or by joining the Americans for Affordable Products Coalition. To join the coalition, contact AAFA's Steve Lamar.

Over the past three weeks, AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein appeared on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN, and Fox Business to discuss a range of topics including the BAT. See recent press highlights here.


Six days to the #AmericanImageAwards! On Monday, industry executives, fashion icons, and celebrities gather for the 2017 AAFA American Image Awards honoring Andrew Rosen, Marc Fisher Footwear, Stuart Vevers, Nick Graham, and Ed Nardoza. Award-winning stage and screen actor Alan Cumming will join us in presenting the evening's awards. We welcome everyone to follow along and help recognize the honorees with #AmericanImageAwards!

3rd Annual CSR Benchmarking Survey Report: In case you missed it, AAFA has released the results of the third annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) benchmarking survey. Members can now access the full report here. For more on this topic and beyond, join our Supply Chain Week June 5-8 in New York and our Traceability Seminar July 19 in Chicago.

Did you know April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day? World Intellectual Property (IP) Day - in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Global Intellectual Property Center - is a day where we go above and beyond to help show our support for innovation, creativity, artistic expression and where we invite Congress to join us in celebrating America’s innovation economy. More than 45 million Americans work in IP fields and deliver the innovations that improve lives every day! Take part in the conversation on social media with the hashtag #WorldIPday.

To take part in AAFA’s IP efforts year-round, consider joining AAFA’s Brand Protection Council (BPC). Charged with helping to protect U.S. branded products against cheap imitations that are flooding the marketplace, the council meets regularly and is composed of legal, brand enforcement, and marketing representatives of AAFA member companies. Contact Steve Lamar to learn more.

AAFA urges continued funding for ILO Better Work Program: On April 17, AAFA sent a letter to both the House and Senate appropriators urging Congress to preserve the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) grant funding for the International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) Better Work program. Removal of the funding could have a significant impact not only on the important work of the ILO Better Work program, but could also seriously undermine Congressional initiatives to improve the economic development of Haiti.

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: JD.com

JD.com strives to offer Chinese consumers the most enjoyable online shopping experience with authentic products covering everything from consumer electronics and luxury goods, to fresh food, household products and clothing. From day one JD.com has had a strict zero tolerance policy toward counterfeits. Apparel and accessories is one of the company’s fastest-growing categories and is a strong engine of growth. Some of the top international brands that work with JD.com are Trussardi, Lacoste, Converse, Ray-Ban, Guess, and Calvin Klein.
AAFA Events
April & May
April 24 2017 AAFA American Image Awards
May 4 Webinar: Going to BAT on Tax Reform & Do We Hafta NAFTA...Again?
May 9-10 Government Contracts Committee Meeting
May 18 Webinar: Addressing Security and Social Risk Factors in Latin America

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
The industry's sourcing and product safety leaders will be at AAFA's Supply Chain Week June 5-8!


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

Next week, 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.



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