AAFA Weekly Brief
May 16, 2017
Supply Chain
May 12: In the U.S., New York is the undisputed fashion capital. Los Angeles has typically been characterized as its second-rate cousin, home to Juicy Couture, denim brands, and bohemian wares courtesy of Revolve.com, while fashion's more structured and sophisticated brands reside in Manhattan. However, with increasing frequency, arguments are being made that Los Angeles is more of a burgeoning fashion mecca than the industry gives it credit for. (Source: The Fashion Law)
May 11: A number of brand signatories of the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh are negotiating with global union federation signatories about a possible extension and potential broadening of the group's scope. The Accord, which earlier this week launched a financial support programme for suppliers, was set up in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster ... (Source: just-style)
May 9: ... These days, instead of massive conglomerates making generic products, a wave of tech-savvy startups are choosing to manufacture in America. Their reasons for going local often have little to do with patriotism. They’re primarily searching for better ways to create high-quality, state-of-the-art products and deliver them to customers faster than competitors making merchandise overseas. (Source: Fast Company)
Admiral Consulting Group
May 16: The largest U.S. retail associations called on new Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to support the North American Free Trade Agreement, aiming to salvage an accord that has come under fire from his boss. ... "Our approach is if you look across the textile, apparel and footwear industry, there’s a very broad consensus that Nafta works ---- that it creates jobs, that there’s a supply chain that supports workers and communities on both sides of the border," Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the AAFA, said in an earlier interview. "Perhaps it can be improved, but we don’t want to start the negotiations from the perspective that this is a bad agreement." (Source: Bloomberg)
May 16: Dozens of Republican lawmakers are raising concerns or say they are undecided on Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed tax on imports, suggesting the Speaker’s broader tax reform plan may not have the votes to pass the House. (Source: The Hill)
May 9: The Trump administration wants to redefine American trade policy. What will change? The Wall Street Journal’s Jacob M. Schlesinger spoke with Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative during the second term of the Obama administration, and Peter Morici from the University of Maryland, an economist who has questioned the free-trade consensus. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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Brand Protection
May 10: It has been over two weeks since the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") sent influencers, celebrities, and brands a strong message by sending 90 or so letters centering on the required usage of disclosures in connection with sponsored content, and garnering extensive press coverage in the process. Regardless of whether a company or individual was on the receiving end of a warning letter, the FTC’s move signifies that the government organization is, in fact, paying attention to undisclosed sponsored content, particularly on Instagram, and advertising/endorsing entities should take note. (Source: The Fashion Law)
May 10: Liverpool have launched a cut-price version of their new home kit in China in a bid to stop fans there purchasing cheap counterfeits. Liverpool are among a growing number of clubs looking to expand revenue through capitalising upon the increasing interest in football in China. But many clubs have struggled to make money through selling kits as there are so many cheaper alternatives. (Source: Daily Mail)

In Brief

AAFA on Tax & Trade Policy: Work on the possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is likely to accelerate with Ambassador Robert Lighthizer's confirmation as the new U.S. Trade Representative. A notification to Congress advising of Administration priorities and intentions on NAFTA is expected to be sent to Congress soon, possibly as early as this week. That notice triggers a 90-day consultation period, enabling formal talks to begin by late August. It’s not too late to send a NAFTA support letter to your legislators.
Meanwhile, Members of Congress are continuing with efforts to undertake comprehensive tax reform; the House is planning to conduct two hearings (starting May 18) to understand views from interested stakeholders on various elements of the Republican tax plan, including the proposed and widely controversial Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) scheme. 


Did you hear? AAFA's new website is coming soon! Our completely re-designed aafaglobal.org website is being re-invented to better meet the needs of AAFA members and to reflect our strategic initiatives across Brand Protection, Trade, and Supply Chain. The site will be mobile-friendly to help members and stakeholders navigate resources and register for our events on the go. During this transition, please contact events@aafaglobal.org for webinar and event registration questions. Contact membership@aafaglobal.org for all other inquiries. 

NOTE: online registration for AAFA's events and webinars, and access to AAFA's member-only resources, will be temporarily restricted the week of May 22 during the transition. We encourage you to register for key events, such as Supply Chain Week, prior to May 22 if possible.

AAFA sends letter in support of NAFTA to Ambassador Lighthizer: Following the swearing in of new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, AAFA sent a letter in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), along with several ally organizations on May 16. Read more in Bloomberg and Inside U.S. Trade.

Just released - Guidelines for Legwear, Hosiery, and Sock Testing: The Guidelines for Legwear, Hosiery, and Sock Testing – a new open-industry resource developed in collaboration with the Manufacturing Solutions Center – establishes testing standards for the industry and its lab partners. It covers a range of issues including product safety, labeling, and physical attributes such as color, fastness, and fit. Access the guidelines now.

Quarterly Market Monitor update: Members can now download the 1st Quarter 2017 Market Monitor (AAFA member login required). This quarterly report, with data by NPD Group, provides AAFA members with critical insights around sales of apparel and footwear products in the U.S. market. It also shares data about movements in the market that may impact your business and how you stack up against the competition. 

AAFA comments to the Administration on trade deficits: On May 10, AAFA submitted comments to the Department of Commerce for use in preparation of the Trump administration's report on significant trade deficits. In its comments, AAFA explained that trade deficits represent a very inaccurate, and very incomplete, measure of the impact of trade on the U.S. economy. 

Comments were submitted during Imports Work Week, during which AAFA and several ally organizations penned an op-ed in The Hill regarding the importance of imports to the U.S. economy. 

AAFA joins coalition for American leadership: On May 9, AAFA joined with other members of the Engaging America’s Global Leadership (EAGL) coalition in sending letters to Congress and government agencies, urging the U.S. Government to take a more active leadership role in the United Nations (UN) agencies, like the International Labor Organization (ILO), with regards to policies impacting the private sector. 

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: Destination XL Group, Inc.

Destination XL Group, Inc. is the largest omni-channel specialty retailer of big & tall men's apparel. The company currently has 203 DXL retail stores in operation across every major metropolitan market in the United States. With more than 2,000 private label and name-brand styles to choose from, big & tall customers are provided with a unique blend of wardrobe solutions not available at traditional retailers. The retailer operates under five brands: Destination XL® (DXL®), Casual Male XL®, Rochester Clothing, ShoesXL® and LivingXL®.
AAFA Events
May & June
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.



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