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Jan. 31, 2012
Retail Hotspots: Developing a Strategy to Globalize
New York, NY

Feb. 1, 2011
Product Safety and Sustainability Seminar & Exhibition
New York, NY

Feb. 12, 2011
Globalizing Your Brand, Selling Overseas in Today's World
Las Vegas, NV

Feb. 13, 2011
AAFA @ FN Platform - The "Dynamic" Internet: Growing Traffic & Revenue by Reducing Risk
Las Vegas, NV

Mar. 14-16, 2012
AAFA Annual Executive Summit
Washington, DC

click here for complete schedule of events

member partners & programs

Attain Academy

Discounts on webinars and
on-line discussions for
reducing & controlling
chargeback and deductions.

Freight Savings Plan
By AAFA partner, Siriani & Associates, Inc.
Save on shipping costs.

Footwear Testing Services
By AAFA partner, Intertek
Expert resource and preferential testing rates for AAFA members.

Gemini Shippers Group
Gemini Shippers Group combines ocean freight volume to negotiate more favorable contracts. (d/b/a for FASA)

XRF Analyzers
By new AAFA partners,
Innov-x and Thermo Scientific.
Identification and quantification of toxic metals in products.


 new member

AAFA Welcomes New Member: Source One Tactical

Source One Tactical
Randy Webb, Chief Operating Officer
3280 Fairlane Farms Road
Wellington, Florida 33414
Phone: 561.753.6656

Source One Tactical (SOT) specializes in utilizing cutting edge technology and processes to develop custom solutions that improve the overall safety, precision, speed and quality of Military and Law enforcement operations today. By working closely with stakeholders, they provide a wide array of capabilities in the areas of consulting, research and development, testing, evolutions, manufacturing and production to a variety of needed application. Their multifaceted approach allows them to bring unique solutions to any challenge.

 legislative and regulatory news

SOTU — Obama Announces Trade Agenda

In his annual State of the Union (SOTU) address, delivered on January 24, President Barack Obama discussed key priorities of his Administration trade policy. In addition to restating a proposal to reorganize trade agencies (see related item), President Obama touted the importance increased enforcement of trade agreements and international trade obligations. In a speech that contained several references to international trade, President Obama announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit to focus on unfair trade practices "in countries like China." It is unclear how this new Trade Enforcement Unit will work in conjunction with pre-existing trade enforcement efforts. In the SOTU, the President also urged Congress to expand financing opportunities for U.S. exports, which many believe to be an apparent reference in support of a long-term renewal of the Export-Import Bank, and pledged to beef up inspections to prevent unsafe imports. In a nod to a growing trend of "insourcing," the President also proposed several tax breaks to support U.S manufacturing opportunities. Conventional wisdom suggests that many of these proposals, as well as other ideas proffered in the SOTU, may see little action in 2012 given the bitter partisanship in Washington, DC. (Steve Lamar)

Trade — AAFA Raises Concerns with Proposed Trade Agency Reorganization

AAFA joined with more than 85 trade associations and organizations in sending a January 24 letter to President Barack Obama expressing "deep concerns" over President Obama's proposal to downgrade the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. government trade negotiating arm, by merging it with the U.S. Commerce Department. Currently, USTR is housed within the Executive Office of the President (EOP). Although the proposal is part of a larger bid to streamline government, focusing initially on the efforts to consolidate many trade functions into a single super agency, AAFA and most others in the business community believe this move, as currently proposed, would impair the role of the USTR in conducting trade negotiations, undermining the ability of the United States to address trade and investment barriers. Key members of Congress have also raised concerns over the proposal for similar reasons. (Steve Lamar)

Footwear — Customs Requests Comments on Textile Outsole Definition

As previously reported by AAFA, new rules governing the ability to use textile outsoles (fabric bottoms) to lower the duty-rates on imports of footwear went into effect December 3, 2011. As a result, the U.S. government published a revised version of Chapter 64 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) to reflect 14 new tariff classifications under HTS Headings 6402 and 6404 created by the new rules that allow for the continued use of textile outsoles to lower duty-rates for the footwear described under those new tariff classifications. For those shoes that cannot be classified under any of the 14 new footwear tariff classifications, the U.S. government created a new definition to determine whether textile outsoled footwear can remain classified under HTS Heading 6405 (Other Footwear) and, therefore, continue to be subject to a lower duty-rate. This new definition is enshrined in Additional U.S. Note 5 of Chapter 64 of the HTSUS, which requires footwear with textile outsoles to meet the "characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole, including durability and strength.' CBP issued an announcement January 23 requesting informal input from the public on 1) the appropriate interpretation of the phrase 'characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole, including durability and strength' and 2) how to determine whether such characteristics are possessed by imported footwear (i.e. what test methods, if any, should be used). Comments to CBP are due Wednesday, February 22, 2012. After analyzing the comments, CBP will consider how best to proceed with this matter. For a complete background on the new rules, please go to AAFA's Web site for AAFA's Event Presentations and click on 'slide deck' or 'full webinar' archive from the January 5, 2012 AAFA/Intertek New Rules Textile Outsoles Webinar. (Nate Herman)

Footwear — Entire Footwear Industry Supports Senate-Version of Affordable Footwear Act

AAFA joined with all of the trade associations representing the U.S. footwear industry — from footwear manufacturers to distributors, brands, and retailers — in sending a letter January 24 to Congress in support of the Affordable Footwear Act (S. 1069). If approved by Congress, the Affordable Footwear Act would temporarily eliminate the duties paid on imports of lower- to moderately-priced shoes, children's footwear, and some outdoor footwear, no longer made in the United States. The legislation would temporarily eliminate about 1/3 of the import duties currently paid annually on footwear. (Nate Herman)

Product Safety — 3 New California Proposition 65 Notices Issued

Professional California Proposition 65 litigants Russell Brimer, John Moore, and Peter Englander issued 3 new '60-day' notices in January alleging that brands and retailers sold sandals (Notice), shoe horns (Notice), and cosmetic cases (Notice) in California containing phthalates and lead in violation of California Proposition 65 (Prop 65). The notices serve as intent to bring a lawsuit against the recipients alleging that the products sold in California contain certain chemicals in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65). Proposition 65 is a California law that requires 'warning labels' on ALL products (not just children's products) sold in California that contain lead, phthalates, cadmium and any one of 850 other chemicals that the State of California believes could cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Prop 65 allows so-called 'citizen enforcers' to enforce the law. NGOs, other groups and even private Californian citizens can sue in California courts and collect part of the fines. You may find these notices along with every fashion and fashion-accessory related notice for the past 4 years in the AAFA Prop 65 '60-Day Notice' running list. AAFA will continue to update this list on a regular basis to help catalog the effects of this damaging proposition on the apparel and footwear industry. (Damon Jeffres/Michael McDonald)

CAFTA-DR — Parties to Agreement Announce "Progress" at Meeting to Address Issues with Agreement as Short Supply Petitions are Withdrawn

The seven countries announced progress towards resolving outstanding issues and strengthening the U.S./Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) at closing of January 23 CAFTA-DR Commission meeting in Miami. Among the topics discussed were textiles and apparel. The seven countries discussed the implementation of the long-pending modifications to the textile and apparel product rules of origin, stating that the countries "look forward to their implementation as soon as possible." Further, the seven countries agreed to explore possible modifications and updates for rules of origin for other products. Meanwhile, on January 24, the U.S. government's inter-agency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) announced that petitioners have withdrawn two November 29 petitions submitted by Hansoll Company, Ltd. requesting that certain 100% polyester circular knit three end fleece fabrics – solid color and certain 100% polyester circular knit three end fleece fabrics – heather color, as described in the petitions, be declared by CITA as not commercially available in the United States as specified under CAFTA-DR. If CITA had approved the petitions, any apparel made in any of the CAFTA-DR partner countries from the subject fabrics (that have been supplied by a non CAFTA-DR country) would have been able to enter the United States or any other CAFTA-DR partner country duty-free. (Nate Herman)

Customs — U.S. Government Unveils National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security

Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano on January 25 unveiled the Obama administrations National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security outlines clear goals to promote the efficient and secure movement of goods and foster a resilient supply chain system. It also provides guidance for the U.S. government and crucial domestic, international, public and private stakeholders who share a common interest in the security and resiliency of the global supply chain. DHS and the Department of State will now lead a six month engagement period with the international community and industry stakeholders to solicit feedback and specific recommendations on how to implement the Strategy in a cost effective and collaborative manner. Within 12 months of the release of the Strategy, a consolidated report on the status of implementation efforts will be developed. (Nate Herman)

Green Chemistry — AAFA Joins Business Community in Comments on Proposed California Green Chemistry Regulations

AAFA joined the Green Chemistry Alliance (GCA) in submitting comments January 13 to California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on DTSC's informal green chemistry regulations. The informal draft is not part of the formal rulemaking process, which is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2012. GCA's comments focused on concerns with the implementation of the regulations, the added costs of the proposed alternatives assessments, and the proposed use of Confidential Business Information. AAFA also submitted its own comments on the informal draft earlier this year. (Greg Yahr)

 AAFA updates

We Wear Perspective — Siemens PLM Software on the 2012 Summit

"The AAFA Executive Summit is all about evolution in every aspect of the apparel and footwear industry. In order to evolve you must learn what other successful companies are doing and the future direction of the industry at large. There is no better place to do that than at the AAFA Executive Summit. Also the caliber and experience of the speakers and their open/honest approach to sharing their experiences provides a wealth of knowledge, insights and networking opportunities that you rarely get in any other business meeting scenario."

John Johnson, Consumer Products & Retail, Sr. Global Director, Siemens PLM Software

Join Siemens PLM Software and other industry leaders March 14 – 16, 2012 in Washington, D.C., at the crossroads of public policy and style for a relevant discussion that will help propel your business into new markets. Each year, top industry executives gather at the AAFA Annual Executive Summit to gain insights about the challenges and opportunities ahead. Register for the 2012 AAFA Annual Executive Summit at (Susan Lapetina)

 recent AAFA blog posts

Shipping in Seattle
January 27, 2012 | Political Trends
Earlier this week, we made the trek from the east coast to the west coast to attend the Waterfront Coalition's annual Port Workshop in Seattle, Washington, where we discussed the transportation issues facing the apparel and footwear industry today  More

 from the headlines

UN report: Efficient ports drive global trade
Seaports Press Review
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development released its annual Review of Maritime Transport report for 2011 in December, observing that the share of developing countries' GDP in overall global economic output has jumped from 17 percent in 1980 to over 28 percent by 2010, with the growth trend projected to continue.  More

Trade protest is planned on eve of a Chinese leader's visit
The New York Times
As the White House prepares for a Washington visit by the man who is expected to run China for the coming decade, trade tensions between the United States and Beijing are on the rise.  More

Will ASEAN be swallowed up by the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
The Bookings Institution
The emerging metaphor for the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) is that of a swan: Elegant, graceful and apparently motionless. But below the surface of the water, the swan paddles actively.  More

AAFA Newsbreaker
American Apparel & Footwear Association
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Phone: 703-524-1864 Fax: 703-522-6741

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