AAFA Weekly Brief
May 9, 2017
Supply Chain
May 8: Rick Helfenbein, American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) president & CEO, discusses Coach's $2.4 billion deal for Kate Spade, as well as the general state of the retail industry. (Source: CNBC)
May 8: In its four years post-Rana Plaza progress report, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh said the garment industry there has "significantly improved," though just 4 percent of factories under the Accord have been fully remediated. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
May 5: ... This week we had the pleasure of having Barry McGeough back in with us from PVH Innovation Next - PVH Corp., to let us know what he has been up to and what exciting advancements have been made throughout the industry. (Source: 2 Babes Talk Supply Chain - podcast)
Admiral Consulting Group
May 8: As House Republicans turn their attention toward a sweeping overhaul of the tax code, they’re struggling with two things: how much the package will cost and how much of that expense should be covered up front. The answers will drive how deep rate cuts can go and whether they carry an expiration date or remain embedded in a newly streamlined tax code. The debate over how to get there exposes a long-simmering tension in the Republican Party over which deserves higher priority — lower taxes or a balanced budget. (Source: Washington Post)
May 4: ... The European Commission is changing its approach to trade deals after strong headwinds jeopardized agreements with the U.S. and Canada. A lack of transparency was one of the culprits behind the collapse of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with Canada was salvaged only after the Commission sweated to get regional parliaments on board. Now it’s linguistic limbo the Commission wants to keep at bay: Trade negotiators, the Commission says, need to avoid toxic acronyms. (Source: Politico Europe)
May 1: May is "World Trade Month," so it’s a good moment to pause and reflect on the fundamentals of international trade and its importance to American jobs and economic growth. The facts are straightforward: more than 41 million American jobs depend on trade and exports support about half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. In fact, one in three acres on American farms is planted for export. But beyond these statistics lies something simpler: to trade is human. (Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
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Brand Protection
May 8: The PAE or patent assertion entity problem is big and growing, posing a threat to startups and established companies alike, costing companies millions in defensive litigation fees and diverting money that would be better spent on innovation. However, unlike big companies with money to spend on litigation, PAE’s or "patent trolls" greatly affects startups and small entrepreneurs due to patents with supposedly questionable quality. More than 10,000 companies have been sued at least once by a patent trolls, and these PAE trolls file 84 percent of high-tech patent lawsuits a year. Over the past decade, there has been a 500% growth in patent troll lawsuits, and research from the Boston University School of Law found that PAE litigation results in $80 billion in lost wealth annually. (Source: Mobile Magazine)
May 3: The Trump administration’s trade policy strategy, aiming for "free and fair" trade, has largely taken aim at unfair trade practices in traditional industries such as dairy, lumber, and steel. Yet, another major component of the U.S. economy is also threatened from foreign actors, but we hear much less about its importance and what policymakers can do to stop it: the theft of knowledge and intellectual property (IP) in a wide variety of traditional and high-tech sectors. (Source: The Hill)
April 30: At a glance, the two websites bearing the Pandora name appear strikingly similar, showing glittering images of charms, bracelets and earrings. ..."Unfortunately, counterfeiting is a serious money-making business for the criminals behind it," said Matthew Scott, a vice president and legal and general counsel for Pandora Americas, in an email. "And the ease, low cost and anonymous nature of the Internet and online selling simply make it easy for this illegal activity to occur." (Source: Baltimore Sun)

In Brief

AAFA on Tax & Trade Policy: Last week, AAFA hosted a member-only webinar where AAFA's Rick Helfenbein and Steve Lamar explained recent developments around both the proposed Border Adjustability Tax (BAT) and proposal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In case you missed it, members can find the recording here.
Questions? Contact Steve Lamar.


Government Contracts Meeting this week: This week, AAFA hosts the Government Contracts Committee (GCC) for its Spring Meeting in Natick, MA. The meeting, co-located with the DoD Technical Footwear Committee Meeting, is focused on developments that bear on the needs and requirements of the U.S. military and other parts of the U.S. government with respect to the procurement of clothing and shoes. Members interested in joining the GCC should contact Steve Lamar.

Just released – updated country profiles for 13 countries! AAFA's members-only country profiles are a direct response to input from AAFA members who are ready to expand their business internationally, and may need additional help navigating the complicated tangle of international rules and requirements. Each profile addresses the key features that are unique to a country but necessary for foreign businesses to understand when looking to sell textiles, apparel, or footwear within that country’s borders. Find the country profiles here (member login required).

AAFA support for Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative: On May 8, AAFA joined with dozens of other companies and organizations in urging the U.S. Senate to confirm Robert Lighthizer as the next U.S. Trade Representative. Read the letter here.

Kudos to AAFA Board Member Bobby Campbell: Florida Atlantic University awarded AAFA member Robert Campbell of BBC International with an Honorary Doctorate Degree on May 4, for his exceptional achievements and dedication to the University. Bobby is a true friend to AAFA and we extend our sincerest congratulations! Read more about this honor in Footwear News.

One Million Pairs! Last week, while accepting the 2017 FABB Achievement Award, Isaac Ash from United Legwear & Apparel Company made a further sock contribution ----  taking us beyond our goal of collecting one million pairs of socks for the homeless! Thanks to all the industry for making contributions and helping us reach our goal five months early! A partial list of contributors includes: United Legwear & Apparel Company, Renfro, TTI Global, Gold Medal, Planet Sox, DSW, Gymboree, High Point LLC, Moret, Hanesbrands Inc., ITC Accessories, Kayser Roth, Royce Too, DML Marketing Group, Bombas, and many others, including several anonymous donors. More information on the One Million Pairs campaign is available 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.


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AAFA Events
May & June
May 9-10 Government Contracts Committee Meeting
May 18 Webinar: Addressing Security and Social Risk Factors in Latin America
June 1 Webinar: Supply Chain Corruption - The Elephant in the Room
June 5 Legwear Committee Meeting
June 5-8 AAFA Supply Chain Week
June 15 Webinar: Harnessing the Simplified Duty Drawback Rules for Expanded Savings

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
Hoping to attend Supply Chain Week?
Register by May 22!



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