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AAFA Welcomes New Member

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In this issue...
Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News
  • Obama Signs 1099 Repeal into Law
  • Product Safety — More California Proposition 65 Notices Issued/AAFA Prop 65 Running List Released
  • Product Safety — More CPSC Recalls
  • Toxic Substances Control Act Reform Legislation Introduced
  • AAFA Supports Sourcing in the Americas Summit & Pavilion at Magic in Las Vegas August 21-24
  • AAFA Opposes European Proposal to Impose Their Standards Globally
  • Retail Prices for Apparel & Footwear Continue to Slip or Remain Flat in March With Rising Costs Not Likely to Impact Prices Until Summer or Fall
  • Apparel/Footwear Retail Store Sales Rise in March, But Department Stores Fall
  • Uncle Sam Wants Comment!
    Member News
  • AAFA Welcomes New Member: Brooks Brothers
  • GCC Spring Meeting Highlights Rising Material Prices and Federal Prison Industries
  • AAFA ISC & SCPI Two-Day Whirlwind Meeting in Orlando
    In the Press
  • Editorial: Breaking Through on Trade
  • New Product-Safety Complaint Database Under Attack
  • Panama Tops List of Upcoming Trade Fights

  • Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News

    President Barack Obama on April 14 signed into law H.R. 4, the AAFA-supported Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, which repeals of the one of the most onerous provisions of last year's health care reform law. That provision would have expanded the 1099 reporting requirement to cover all business-to-business transactions over $600. The measure passed both houses by veto-proof margins: the House by a vote of 314 to 112 and the Senate by a vote on 87 to 12. If enacted, the requirement would have been a paperwork nightmare for all businesses and would have caused untold harm to the American economy. (Kurt Courtney)

    Professional California Proposition 65 litigants Anthony E. Held and John Moore have issued 18 new "60-day" notices since the beginning of April, alleging that brands and retailers sold footwear (Notice 1; Notice 2), cosmetic and toiletries cases (Notice 1; Notice 2; Notice 3; Notice 4; Notice 5; Notice 6; Notice 7; Notice 8; Notice 9; Notice 10), jewelry (Notice 1; Notice 2), tote bags (Notice 1) and belts (Notice 1; Notice 2; Notice 3; Notice 4; Notice 5) in California that contained phthalates in violation of 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. AAFA has included these notices, along with every apparel and footwear related notice for the past three 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 damaging effects of this law on the apparel and footwear industry. (Michael McDonald)

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last week announced the voluntary recalls of 90,000 articles of girl's tops and 11,700 baby booties. The tops, which were manufactured by My Michelle, were recalled due to the jewelry and decorative trim attached to the girl's garments containing high levels of lead. The baby booties, which were manufactured by Midwest-CBK Inc., were recalled due to the pom-poms attached to the wrist rattles and booties becoming detached, posing a choking hazard. No incidents or injuries were reported. (Michael McDonald)

    On Thursday, April 14, Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which primarily regulates chemicals in consumer products. TSCA was originally passed in 1976 and has not been significantly changed since then. Senator Lautenberg also introduced legislation to reform TSCA during the last session of Congress. AAFA is a member of the American Alliance for Innovation (AAI) which is a coalition of trade associations which represent stakeholders in any potential reform of TSCA. The AAI released this statement on Thursday in response to the introduction of the legislation. (Greg Yahr)

    AAFA has joined with trade associations representing the entire textile, apparel and footwear supply chain, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), to promote the Sourcing in the Americas Pavilion & Summit at this summer's edition of the MAGIC Show, which takes place August 21-24 in Las Vegas. AAFA is proud to support this event, which will feature a U.S. Department of Commerce Pavilion with exhibitors representing the entire Americas supply chain as well as a Summit on August 21 and 22 that will feature a series of seminars with key U.S. government decision makers as well as suppliers and importers discussing sourcing in the Americas. For more information on the Sourcing in the Americas Summit, please go to the OTEXA website or contact AAFA's Nate Herman at 703-797-9062. The deadline to exhibit at the U.S. Department of Commerce's Sourcing in the Americas Pavilion is May 19, so please contact OTEXA's Kim-Bang Nguyen at 202-482-4805 to reserve your booth today. (Nate Herman)

    AAFA joined with 19 other U.S. business organizations representing a broad cross-section of U.S. industry in sending an April 14 letter to the Obama administration strongly opposing the European Union's (EU) recent proposal on international standardization under the World Trade Organization's (WTO) ongoing Doha Round of global trade negotiations. The EU's proposal restricts choice and flexibility not only by naming their list of preferred standardizing bodies and suggesting that only standards developed by these bodies are relevant internationally within the context of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, but by essentially requiring countries to use standards from those bodies. The EU proposal fails to recognize that thousands of international standards and test methods that emanate from other globally respected standardizing bodies, such as ASTM, ANSI, NSF, that currently serve as the basis for effective technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures which facilitate trade and enhance protection of public health, safety and the environment across many WTO Members and observers. (Nate Herman)

    According to the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics April 15 release of the March Consumer Price Index (CPI), retail prices for apparel and footwear fell for a third straight month. Rising materials costs are not expected to work their way through the supply chain in the form of higher retail prices until this summer or fall. Seasonally-adjusted retail prices for all types of apparel fell 0.5 percent in March. Prices fell in March for women and girls' apparel (-0.9 percent) and men's and boys' apparel (-0.7 percent), but prices rose slightly (+0.1 percent) for infants' and toddlers' apparel. Overall footwear prices remained flat in March from the previous month, as lower prices for women's footwear (-07 percent) outweighed increases in prices for men's footwear (+0.3 percent) and for juvenile footwear (+1.5 percent). Overall prices for apparel (-0.6 percent) slipped and footwear prices remained unchanged in March versus March 2010. Lower March prices (versus March 2010) for women's and girls' apparel (-2.0 percent), men's and boys' apparel (-0.7 percent), infants' and toddlers' apparel (-3.8 percent), and women's footwear (-2.4 percent) more than offset price increases for juvenile footwear (+2.8 percent) and men's footwear (+1.6 percent). Stoking inflation fears, overall retail prices increased by 0.5 percent in March on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Overall retail prices in March also increased on year-on-year terms, up by 2.7 percent from March 2010. (Nate Herman)

    According to the US Census Bureau's April 13 release of March Advanced Monthly Sales, seasonally adjusted retail sales at U.S. clothing and clothing accessories stores, including shoe stores, rose 0.6 in March from the previous month, and increased 3.4 percent over March 2010 sales. March seasonally adjusted retail sales at U.S. department stores slipped 0.2 percent in March, with sales falling 3.3 percent below March 2010 sales. March seasonally adjusted retail sales at all U.S. general merchandise stores (which includes discount stores like Kohl's, Target and Wal-Mart as well as regular department stores) increased 0.4 percent from February with sales growing 2.5 percent over March 2010 levels. Overall retail sales increased 0.4 percent in March, and were 7.1 percent higher than in March 2010. (Nate Herman)

    Congress and many government agencies are soliciting comments on a range of issues that may affect your business. For a list of upcoming comments, please click here.

    AAFA Member News

    AAFA WELCOMES NEW MEMBER: Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc.

    Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc.
    Michael Stanley
    1370 Broadway
    NY, NY 10018
    Phone: 212.356.1497

    Rosenthal & Rosenthal, Inc. the principal unit of the Rosenthal Group (Rosenthal), is a privately held factoring and finance company now celebrating its 72nd year. Recently named by Crains as one of the top ten privately held businesses in New York, Rosenthal provides Factoring, Asset-Based Lending and Specialty Lending to clients across a wide range of industries. Their capabilities include traditional financing, such as secured working capital loans, as well as highly specialized lending against non-traditional collateral, including fine art, yachts and precious gems. Rosenthal has earned an outstanding reputation for providing exceptional customer service and taking an entrepreneurial approach to creating customized financial solutions for unique business needs.

    Last week, members of AAFA's Government Contracts Committee met in Ft. Lauderdale to discuss some of the most pressing issues affecting America's domestic manufacturing base of clothing, footwear and textiles. The meeting heard from speakers from all branches of the military, DLA Troop Support, the Department of Commerce and Federal Prison Industries. AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke spoke of the importance for industry and government to come together to work out the ongoing problems with rising material prices. Further, Burke announced the upcoming introduction of legislation after the Easter Recess to update the law on Federal Prison Industries, as the industry continues to lose more business to the government agency. Presentations are on the AAFA Web site. (Kurt Courtney)

    Last week the AAFA’s Information Systems (ISC) and AAFA's Supply Chain & Product Innovation (SCPI) spring meetings in Orlando, Florida turned out to be a two day world wind of thought provoking content, extraordinary dialogue between speakers and peers, and participation in some exclusive tours and demos that were the envy of many industry executives who were not part of either AAFA committee. Committee members participated in a half day RFID apparel workshop followed by an exclusive never seen before demo of an actual supply chain using RFID at item level from factory to the retail store in the exhibitor area of RFID Live. The next morning we were wowed by the senior executive team of Disney representing merchandise development, global retail development, supply chain management, merchandise sourcing and planning followed by a tour of downtown Disney and a behind the scenes tutorial of their retail operations. In between these two sessions, members heard presentations on Mobility Devices for Consumer Engagement, Social Media Technology and Tools, Fabric Technology and Innovation, and a Washington Trade update. Companies presenting included AAFA, Carter's, Digby, Kurt Salmon Associates, Mantis Technology, NC State University, GS1, University of Arkansas, VF Corporation, Dillard's and Walmart. If your company is a member of the AAFA and not represented on either committee, we encourage you to join now. You can't put a price tag on the value of the networking alone. Please contact Mary Howell or Heather McCue to learn how to join. Presentations will be on AAFA Web site in the coming days. (Mary Howell)

    In the Press

    Editorial: Breaking Through on Trade
    from The New York Times
    After two years of dithering, it is good to see the Obama administration championing freer trade. Last week, the United States and Colombia announced a deal that will improve, and we hope finally win passage of, a 2006 trade agreement signed during the Bush administration. More

    New Product-Safety Complaint Database Under Attack
    from USA Today
    Nearly three years after it was required in a sweeping product-safety law, the Consumer Product Safety Commission's new complaint database is facing challenges as it opens for business. More

    Panama Tops List of Upcoming Trade Fights
    from Roll Call
    A long-stalled free-trade agreement with Panama got a huge boost last week, business lobbyists pushing for the pact said. And as Congress begins a two-week recess, K Street plans to step up its grass-roots and inside-the-Beltway campaigns to urge Congressional approval of the Panama deal and two other agreements. More

    AAFA Events & Educational Programs

    April 27, 2011
    33rd Annual American Image Awards
    New York, NY

    April 29, 2011
    AAFA International Product Safety & Sustainability Conference
    Dongguan, China

    April 29 – 30, 2011
    Financial Management Committee Spring Meeting
    South Beach, FL

    May 4, 2011
    The IAC Presents: "Cotton Market Analysis"
    New York, NY

    May 11 - 13, 2011
    2011 International Sourcing, Customs & Logistics Integration Conference
    Miami, FL

    May 17, 2011
    Environmental Committee Meeting
    New York, NY

    May 18, 2011
    Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
    New York, NY

    May 25, 2011
    West Coast Product Safety & Chemical Management Seminar
    Hollywood, CA

    May 31 - June 3, 2011
    U Connect Live
    Orlando, FL

    Click here for complete schedule of events.

    AAFA 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.

    AAFA Newsbreaker
    American Apparel & Footwear Association
    1601 N. Kent St., Ste. 1200, Arlington, VA 22209
    Phone: 703-524-1864 Fax: 703-522-6741

    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, Multibriefs 469.420.2601   Download media kit
    Stephanie Studer, Senior Content Editor, Multibriefs 469.420.2655   Contribute news
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