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Nov. 30, 2011
International Product Safety and Restricted Substances Conference
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dec. 6, 2011
International Product Safety and Restricted Substances Conference
Bangalore, India

Dec. 13, 2011
Brand Protection Council Meeting
New York, NY

Dec. 14, 2011
RFID Supplier ROI Use Case Data Collection and Analysis
Free Online Webinar

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

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: Susman Partners

Susman Partners
William Susman, CEO
623 Fifth Ave., 14th floor
NY, NY 10022
Phone: 212.887.2193

Susman Partners is an advisory firm providing investment banking services to the retail and consumer industry. The Firm advises on the full range of services including sell side transactions, buy side transactions, debt and equity recapitalizations and restructuring. Principals at the firm have worked for most of the largest retail, apparel, footwear, personal care and consumer products companies in the country.

 legislative and regulatory news

Government Procurement — 3% Withholding Repeal Awaits President's Signature

Following a unanimous 95-0 vote in the U.S. Senate on November 10, the House similarly passed, for the second time, H.R. 674, by a vote of 422-0 on November 16. The bill would repeal a three percent withholding requirement on government contractors until they have fully paid their taxes. The bill also included an amendment providing tax credits for companies that hire unemployed veterans and mandates a study on how to prevent tax evasion by government contractors. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on November 21. (Damon Jeffres/Michael McDonald)

Product Safety — AAFA Meeting with CPSC on Drawstrings

On Monday November 21, AAFA and RILA had a meeting with the CPSC to discuss the industry confusion over the implementation of the CPSC's recent Drawstring ruling. Many in the industry had concerns over the definition of a tie, the definition of upper outerwear, and the determination of what is considered intended for adults and for children. During our discussion with the CPSC all of these issues were brought up and discussed in great detail with common ground being made in several areas. AAFA has agreed to move forward on the issue by submitting some of the main questions on generic items that are of top concern to the industry in order to achieve some general guidance that can be used along with the case by case guidance issued by the CPSC. (Michael McDonald)

Product Safety — CPSC Announces Two Recalls of Children's Shoes

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced November 16 the voluntary recall of 160,000 "Kidgets Animal Sock Top Slippers" and the voluntary recall of 45,000 KEDS "Know It All" Girls' Shoes. The slippers, which were imported by BCNY International and sold exclusively by Family Dollar stores, were recalled due to the animal's eyes detaching and posing a choking hazard. The girls' shoes, which were manufactured by Collective Brands, were recalled due to ornamental stars at the heel loosening and posing a laceration hazard. For the slippers, one incident of the eyes detaching was reported, and no injuries occurred. For the girls' shoes, 27 reports were received of cuts and scratches occurring from the metal stars loosening. (David Lapidus/Michael McDonald)

IPR — House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Rogue Website Bill

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on November 16 on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (H.R. 3261), the House-version of legislation to combat rogue websites introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI). If enacted, the law would give intellectual property holders the ability to work with advertising networks and payment processing networks to shut off access to websites that sell counterfeit goods, such as apparel and footwear. The bill would also allow the U.S. Department of Justice to go in front of a judge to obtain an injunction that would force internet service providers (ISPs) and search engines to block all access to a site that the government claimed was distributing pirated content. However, under the bill, rightsholders are not able to pursue this type of action against ISPs and search engines. AAFA continues to lobby committee members and other members of Congress to strengthen the legislation by enabling rightsholders to initiate legal action to force ISPs and search engines to block these rogue websites. Katherine Oyama, Google's policy counsel, testified before the hearing and argued against the legislation. Some of the bill's backers hinted that Google opposes the bill because it is making money off piracy through some of its services. "Given Google's record, their objection to authorizing a court to order a search engine to not steer consumers to foreign rogue sites is more easily understood," said Chairman Smith. The legislation is scheduled to me marked-up on December 15. (Kurt Courtney)

Small Business — AAFA Urges Congress to Improve Small Business Access to Credit

AAFA joined with others in the business community in sending letters November 15 to each member of Congress recommending steps that would improve credit access for small businesses. The letter emphasizes the importance of small businesses in providing almost half of the nation's GDP and nearly two-thirds of new jobs. The twenty-one signatories request that Congress increase U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) funding for 2012, provide additional funds to extend expiring loan guarantees, extend expiring fee waivers under the 7a and 504 programs and provide for an expedited, simplified SBA loan process. (Damon Jeffres/Kurt Courtney)

Chemicals — AAFA Urges Outreach and Cooperation as Senate Committee Holds TSCA Reform Hearing

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on November 17 on S. 847, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. If approved by Congress, the Safe Chemicals Act would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). TSCA was originally enacted in 1976 and has remained without significant revision since then. The legislation seeks to totally revamp the process by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves chemicals for use in commerce and also shifts the burden of proof from the government to industry with regard to a chemical being safe for use. AAFA signed on to a November 17 letter urging Senator Lautenberg to continue to work with industry stakeholders to ensure a workable and responsible reform process that will benefit all those involved. (Greg Yahr)

Trade — CAFTA-DR Short Supply Request

The U.S. government's inter-agency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) requests comments on a November 10 petition by Hansoll Textile, Ltd. asking that certain cotton/nylon/spandex raschel knit open work crepe fabric under 6005.22.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as described in the petition, be declared not commercially available (in short supply) in the United States as specified under the U.S./Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). If approved by CITA, any apparel made in any of the CAFTA-DR partner countries from the subject fabric (that has been supplied by a non CAFTA-DR country) can now enter the United States or any other CAFTA-DR partner country duty-free. Comments are due November 28. (Nate Herman)

Budget — President Enacts Stop Gap Funding Measure; Provides Longer Term Funding for Trade Agencies

On November 18, President Obama signed into law (PL 112-55) a measure that provides full funding for several departments and key trade agencies – such as the Commerce and Agricultural Departments, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) – for the rest of the current fiscal year (FY 2012). The measure was approved late last week in the House by a vote of 298 to 121 and in the Senate by a vote of 70 to 30. Averting a possible last minute partial government shutdown, the new law also ensures funding for other parts of the government, which has not yet been funded through annual spending measures during the current fiscal year, through December 16, 2012. The legislation was signed into law without a provision that had been included in earlier version that would have forced the United States to discontinue a controversial cotton payment program for Brazil. Because that program is part of a short term settlement that prevents Brazilian retaliation against US exports, its discontinuation could have resulted in the immediate erection of new barriers against certain U.S. exports. Other provisions in the legislation increase trade enforcement resources at the USTR and create new pilot programs for Federal Prison Industries (FPI). (Steve Lamar)

 member updates

Featured Event — International Product Safety and Restricted Substances Conferences

The American Apparel & Footwear Association's International Product Safety & Restricted Substances Conference brings together industry leaders to educate on the numerous regulatory standards, restricted substances lists (RSL), chemical management programs and sustainability issues critical to today's factory operations. Sessions include: Product safety regulations from the United States and the European Union, proper customs documents and documentation retailers require in order to accept products, the use of RSL's by both brands and retailers throughout the supply chain. What testing is required and how to build testing into product safety and compliance programs. This important conference will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on November 30 and in Bangalore, India on December 6. AAFA strongly encourages you to invite your suppliers in these markets. Registration for Dhaka and Bangalore is open on the AAFA web site. (Susan Lapetina)

AAFA Program — Plan your holiday shipping

The FedEx 2011 holiday shipping website has holiday shipping news, including days and hours of operation, exceptions to the money-back guarantee* and last days to ship for timely holiday delivery at As an AAFA member, you can save up to 42% on your FedEx Express® shipping and up to 24% on your FedEx Ground® shipping. Join the AAFA Freight Savings Plan today and start saving. For more information call Siriani at 1.800.554.0005. For details on the FedEx Money-Back Guarantee, see Our Services at For eligible FedEx® services and rates, contact your freight savings program provider, Siriani & Associates. All FedEx shipments are subject to the applicable FedEx Service Guide. FedEx service marks used by permission. Learn more about other AAFA Partners and cost-savings programs. (Maureen Storch)

 recent AAFA blog posts

Reforming TSCA
Political Trends | November 21, 2011
Last week's Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing on reform of the antiquated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is not something that many would pick to catch the attention of those in the apparel and footwear industry, but it certainly should.  More

Keep Feet Warm and Dry with These Winter Footwear Tips
Intertek Footwear Monthly | November 17, 2011
The arrival of holiday décor on store shelves across the country means that for many parts of the U.S., cold, wet, wintry weather is just around the corner. The choices are endless for consumers when buying cold-weather apparel and footwear, but not all coats, boots, scarves and gloves are created equal. To help consumers when shopping for outdoor gear to protect them from the elements, and keep them dry and safe in the blustery winter weather, Intertek offers some basic tips on what to look for in winter footwear.  More

Don't Go Rogue This Holiday Season
Political Trends | November 16, 2011
With the holidays rapidly approaching, budget-conscious Americans across the country are beginning to look for the best bargains on the latest styles of clothing and shoes. Before the Internet explosion, savvy consumers would stalk newspapers and magazines looking for the next big sale and brave the Black Friday crowds to avoid holiday shopping procrastination.  More

 from the headlines

Supercommittee fails to reach deficit agreement
National Journal
The bipartisan congressional committee tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction announced on Monday it cannot reach agreement by the Wednesday deadline, a stark if not unexpected admission that its efforts have ended in failure.  More

China, US grapple with tensions at trade talks
Chinese and U.S. officials started meeting on Sunday to grapple with trade disputes that have strained ties between the world's two biggest economies, carrying forward concerns exchanged between leaders at back-to-back Asian summits in the past week.  More

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

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