AAFA Weekly Brief
May 23, 2017
Supply Chain
May 23: The White House is under increasing pressure to show progress on President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure package. While a detailed proposal isn't expected to land until later this summer, the administration plans to unveil a broad sketch of infrastructure "principles" before the end of this month and could reveal some of Trump’s rebuilding ideas in the president's budget proposal due out on Tuesday. (Source: The Hill)
May 21: Between 6 million and 7.5 million retail industry jobs are vulnerable to automation within ten years, according to an exhaustive study released this week. The report, by Cornerstone Capital Group, concluded that the jobs of as many as 47% of the 16 million Americans currently working in retail could be made redundant by highly-automated e-commerce and other innovations. (Source: Fortune)
May 20: ... When the mall was built in 1976, Pueblo was a booming steel town. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. was the city’s largest employer, and a now-empty meatpacking plant also offered good wages. The mall — with its 1,100 retail jobs — has outlasted them both. It’s also the social hub for the city — and for the many small towns east to Kansas and south to New Mexico. ... The Pueblo Mall is an outlier in the age of Amazon.com, when socks and laundry detergent and televisions — nearly anything you can think of — can be delivered to your front stoop within hours. (Source: Washington Post)
Admiral Consulting Group
May 23: The American Apparel & Footwear Association reinforced its opposition to the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) provision, included in the "A Better Way" tax blueprint, in comments submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee. The comments were submitted in response to a request for input ahead of the committee's May 23 "Increasing U.S. Competitiveness and Preventing American Jobs from Moving Overseas" hearing. (Source: Apparel)
May 23: The chief executive officers of two major American companies - retailer Target Corp and agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland Co - offered opposing views in a hearing before U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday on a proposed border adjustment tax. ... The border tax would imposes a tax on imports while providing a credit for exports and has been proposed by House Republicans as part of a larger tax code overhaul. (Source: Reuters)
May 22: Paul Ryan and the White House are barreling toward a tax reform show-down — a faceoff that’s becoming all but inevitable as the speaker continues selling a tax plan rejected by Trump officials. At issue is a controversial pillar of the House GOP tax plan that effectively hikes taxes on imports. (Source: Politico)
May 18: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress on Thursday that President Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Lighthizer said the United States will rework the 23-year-old trade agreement to support higher-paying jobs here and grow the U.S. economy by improving trading opportunities with Canada and Mexico. (Source: The Hill)

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Brand Protection
May 23: The official start of summer is just a month away, and with it will come a surge in beach and poolside Instagram posts. This means that we will likely see more of last year’s ubiquitous must-have accessory, cheeky inflatable pool toys ... . Leading the charge in this trend has been BigMouth, LLC ("BigMouth"), an Indianapolis, Indiana-based designer and manufacturer of inflatable pool toys. ... Recently, BigMouth has taken to aggressively filing multi-million-dollar lawsuits to enforce its trademarks, copyrights, and patents (which cover many of its various pool float designs, and the artwork and packaging associated with them) against copycats. (Source: The Fashion Law)
May 18: Counterfeiting is an issue that brands in all industries are contending with – from pharmaceuticals, electronics and beauty products to luxury fashion and apparel and toys. The consequences of fake goods flooding the market can have an impact on many areas of the business, including the bottom line, reputation and customer satisfaction. In some instances (eg, counterfeit pharmaceuticals), the impact extends well beyond economics and affects the health and wellbeing of consumers. (Source: Lexology)

In Brief

AAFA on NAFTA: Late last week, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) formally notified Congress that the Trump Administration plans to enter negotiations to "modernize" the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This action began a very important 90-day consultation period, during which the Administration must consult Congress and other stakeholders to identify negotiating objectives.
AAFA has already sent a letter to USTR urging the Administration to "do no harm" to the apparel, textile, and footwear supply chains, and the hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs that are dependent on NAFTA. During the coming weeks, there are several things AAFA members can do to help support NAFTA and to keep up to date with this and other developments in D.C.:
  • Share your company’s thoughts on NAFTA, including what provisions you would like to see preserved or updated. These will be considered for inclusion in AAFA’s comments submitted in connection with Monday’s Federal Register notice. Comments should be sent to AAFA’s Steve Lamar.
  • Join us on Wednesday, June 7 in New York City at our annual Sourcing Conference, during which we'll have a town hall-style session focused on NAFTA and other trade issues. 


Today’s House Ways & Means Hearing on BAT: Earlier today, in advance of the House Ways and Means Committee’s "Increasing U.S. Competitiveness and Preventing American Jobs from Moving Overseas" hearing, AAFA submitted comments to reinforce opposition to the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) provision. See our press release for additional context. Additional details to follow for all members. In the meantime, contact Steve Lamar and ask to take part in AAFA’s Government Relations Committee for more regular, detailed updates.

AAFA’s new website is around the corner! Have you heard? The aafaglobal.org website is under construction. You may notice that online registration for AAFA's events and webinars, and access to AAFA's member-only resources, is temporarily restricted. During this week’s transition, please contact events@aafaglobal.org for webinar and event registration questions. Contact membership@aafaglobal.org for all other inquiries. Stay tuned for the new site after Memorial Day!

Additional AAFA comments & testimony: On May 17, AAFA submitted comments on a variety of issues impacting AAFA members, including the CA Green Chemistry Program, Washington Children’s Safe Products Act, and The Reinforcing American Made Products Act of 2017. Learn more.

See all of AAFA’s latest letters, comments, and testimony


Member Welcome: Vagabond Shoemakers

Vagabond Shoemakers designs, develops, manufactures, and sells shoes and accessories. Headquartered in Sweden, Vagabond is working with a focus on sustainability from idea to concept and distribution. By working with just a few selected suppliers, they’ve managed to build long-term relationships with their manufactures, and this allows them to gain insight into working conditions at the production level. They strongly believe that using skilled craftsmen working in a healthy environment results in great quality products. 
AAFA Events
June 1 Webinar: Supply Chain Corruption - The Elephant in the Room
June 5 Legwear Committee Meeting
June 6-8 AAFA Supply Chain Week (including the best of AAFA's annual sourcing conference and product safety seminar)
June 15 Webinar: Harnessing the Simplified Duty Drawback Rules for Expanded Savings

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
Don’t miss AAFA’s Sourcing Conference
June 7-8 – including a town hall-style session covering the latest on NAFTA.


Other Industry Events 
Fashion Future Graduate Showcase
May 23-24, 2017 | New York City

The first "Fashion Future Graduate Showcase" will feature over 60 graduates from Academy of Art University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, and Rhode Island School of Design. The top graduating design students will be showing their work at a two-day juried and curated exhibition hosted by CFDA and the NYCEDC. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet and see the work of the most exciting and talented fashion graduates – who are ready to be hired. Interested parties can RSVP to epd@cfda.com.



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