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AAFA Welcomes New Member



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In this issue...
Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News
  • Obama Signs Tax Cut Extensions Into Law
  • House Approves Omnibus Trade Bill, AAFA Urges Senate Vote Before Congress Leaves for Year
  • AAFA Opposes Proposed Accounting Change on Leasing
  • Congress Repeals "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," But Defense Authorization Bill Remains Stalled
  • CPSC Recalls Girls' Hooded Zip Jacket and Vest Sets With Drawstrings Due to Strangulation Hazard
  • Canada Recalls Bakugan Long-Sleeved Pajama Sets for Children Due to Flammable Fabrics
  • U.S. Government Issues Report on IPR Infringement in China
  • U.S. Government Issues New Reports on Countries/Industries Using Child and/or Forced Labor
  • U.S. Government Announces 2011 Limit for Apparel Imported Under Haiti Help Program
  • Uncle Sam Wants You...to Comment!
    Member News
  • AAFA Welcomes New Member: Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries, Inc.
    In the Press
  • President Obama to Shore Up Trade Pact
  • US Trade Benefit Renewal Snagged on Sleeping Bags
  • Smart Mama Jennifer Taggart Aims to Get the Lead Out of Toys
  • India to Provide Extra Time for Cotton Exports
  • When Wrinkle-Free Clothing Also Means Formaldehyde Fumes


  • Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News

    OBAMA SIGNS TAX CUT EXTENSIONS INTO LAW
    The U.S. House of Representatives on December 17 followed the Senate’s lead in approving the long anticipated and AAFA-supported Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) by a vote of 277-148. President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law the same day. The Senate had previously approved the measure by a vote of 81-19. This law extends tax cuts for all income brackets for the next two years. The bill also extends the critical R&D tax credit, provides 100 percent expensing for 2011 and reduces payroll taxes for one year for all workers. (Kurt Courtney)



    HOUSE APPROVES OMNIBUS TRADE BILL, AAFA URGES SENATE VOTE BEFORE CONGRESS LEAVES FOR YEAR
    The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010 (H.R. 6517) on December 15 by voice vote. The AAFA-supported Omnibus Trade Act would renew the Andean and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference programs before they expire at the end of this year and would implement several important trade related measures, including a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) package and a provision that would re-authorize and fund the AAFA-supported wool trust fund. Immediately after the House vote, AAFA urged the Senate to immediately approve the bill to ensure American competitiveness and support U.S. jobs. It remains unclear whether the Senate will approve the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010 before they adjourn at the end of this week. If the Senate fails to approve the measure, the Andean trade preference program will expire on December 31. It is important to note that the proposed Andean extension will NOT extend to Peru, which would mean that imports from Peru would only have access to duty free status through the U.S./Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA). (Nate Herman)

    AAFA OPPOSES PROPOSED ACCOUNTING CHANGE ON LEASING
    AAFA submitted comments December 15 to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) expressing deep concerns about a FASB proposal to change the accounting for leasing. FASB is the private sector body that establishes standards for financial accounting. If approved, the proposed changes will require companies using operating lease accounting to adopt a controversial method that could bloat balance sheets, lead to additional loan compliance costs, add P&L volatility and add considerable operating costs to implement and maintain the changes. It is unclear when FASB will make its final decision on the proposal. Please contact Ralph Reinecke at 703-797-9043, or rreinecke@apparelandfootwear.org, with any questions. (Ralph Reinecke)



    CONGRESS REPEALS "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL," BUT DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL REMAINS STALLED
    Last week, the House and Senate were able to pass legislation repealing the controversial "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" policy for active military. This action came as Congressional leaders scrambled to find a way to enable passage of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (HR 6523). Although the House was able to pass the Defense bill 341-48 on December 17, the Senate has so far been unable to take up and approve either the House passed bill or a Senate version. The House-passed bill would extend the ban on any transfer of military detainees from the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba prison to the United States for another year, which is a blow to President Obama, who has been fighting to close the prison since his presidential campaign. House and Senate leaders on military matters were still trying to figure out how the Guantánamo ban would play in the Senate, where unanimous consent would be needed to pass the defense bill in the few days left of the lame-duck session. This issue and other hurdles may conspire to prevent the Congress from approving the annual Defense authorization legislation for the first time in U.S. history. (Kurt Courtney)

    CPSC RECALLS GIRLS' HOODED ZIP JACKET AND VEST SETS WITH DRAWSTRINGS DUE TO STRANGULATION HAZARD
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 16 announced the voluntary recall of 900 pairs of girls' hooded zip jacket and vest sets. The sets, which were manufactured by Splendid, were recalled due to a strangulation and entrapment hazard posed by the drawstrings through the hood. No incidents or injuries were reported. The recall is the 46th this year involving apparel or footwear. (Rebecca Mond)

    CANADA RECALLS BAKUGAN LONG-SLEEVED PAJAMA SETS FOR CHILDREN DUE TO FLAMMABLE FABRICS
    Health Canada on December 17 announced the voluntary recall of 1780 Bakugan Long-Sleeved Pajama Sets for children. The sets, which were manufactured by Fame Jeans Inc. and sold by L'Aubainerie, were recalled due the clothing not meeting the design and flammability requirements for children’s sleepwear under Canadian law. No incidents or injuries were reported. (Rebecca Mond)

    U.S. GOVERNMENT ISSUES REPORT ON IPR INFRINGEMENT IN CHINA
    The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on December 13 published a report on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement and indigenous innovation policies in China. In the report, for which AAFA supplied detailed comments earlier this year, the ITC finds that significant structural and institutional impediments undermine effective IPR enforcement in China, including the protection of IPR infringing industries by local Chinese officials, a lack of coordination among government agencies, insufficient enforcement resources and training and non-deterrent civil and criminal penalties. This ineffective enforcement contributes to the widespread infringement of U.S. firms’ copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets in China. (Kurt Courtney)

    U.S. GOVERNMENT ISSUES NEW REPORTS ON COUNTRIES/INDUSTRIES USING CHILD AND/OR FORCED LABOR
    The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) issued three new reports last week -- the newly redesigned, ninth annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, a report mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 that provides information on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, an update to its List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor, which is mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (TVPRA List), and a proposed revision to the current List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor pursuant to Executive Order 13126 of 1999. The List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor lists China, India, Jordan, Argentina, Malaysia and Thailand as countries that used child and/or forced labor in the apparel industry and cites China, Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Indonesia as countries that use child and/or forced labor in footwear manufacturing. All of these same countries were list in the 2009 version of the report. While AAFA supports the goal of eradicating forced and child labor and welcomed the release of the reports, AAFA expressed continued concerns with the process the U.S. Department of Labor has used to develop its list of countries and industries using child and/or forced labor. (Nate Herman)

    U.S. GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES 2011 LIMIT FOR APPAREL IMPORTED UNDER HAITI HELP PROGRAM
    Under one component of the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010, which Congress approved and President Barack Obama signed into law earlier this year, apparel from Haiti can enter the United States duty-free. In order to qualify for duty-free entry, the apparel must be wholly assembled, or knit-to-shape, in Haiti from any combination of fabrics, fabric components, components knit-to-shape, and yarns, as long as the sum of the cost or value of materials produced in Haiti is 50 percent or more of the total value of the product. Under HELP, the amount of apparel that can enter the United States duty-free under this program is limited to 1.25 percent of total U.S. apparel imports. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced December 20 that the 2011 limit for apparel entering duty-free from Haiti under this HELP provision is 324,408,946 square meter equivalents (SMEs). To put this limit in perspective, total U.S. apparel imports from Haiti for the 12-month period ender October 31, 2010 equaled 249, 367,000 SMEs. Please note that many of this imports from Haiti came in under the tariff preference levels (TPLs) and other provisions of the HELP program. (Nate Herman)


    UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU...TO COMMENT!
    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: Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries, Inc.

    Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries, Inc.
    Norm Bradley, Executive Director
    1205 West Cumberland Gap Parkway
    Corbin, Kentucky 40701
    Phone: 606.528.7490
    E-mail: Norm.bradley@sekri.org
    Website: www.sekri.org

    Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries, Inc. (SEKRI) has provided valuable outsourcing solutions for nearly 40 years.

    With seven manufacturing facilities housing 650 employees, SEKRI can provide a complete apparel manufacturing and logistics solution or can be an extension of your current operations.



    In the Press

    President Obama to Shore Up Trade Pact
    from Politico
    President Barack Obama's chief spokesman Friday said that the President won't submit to Congress a pending free trade agreement with Colombia, as Republicans and business leaders are urging, because it would be defeated. More

    US Trade Benefit Renewal Snagged on Sleeping Bags
    from Reuters
    Valuable U.S. trade benefits for about 130 developing countries could expire at the end of the year because of a Republican senator's objection to duty-free treatment for sleeping bags from Bangladesh. More

    Smart Mama Jennifer Taggart Aims to Get the Lead Out of Toys
    from USA Today
    Stop by Jennifer Taggart's Southern California home, and you're likely to find her kids conducting a hands-on science experiment. In other words, making a mess. More

    India to Provide Extra Time for Cotton Exports
    from Economic Times
    India, the world's second-biggest producer of cotton, will give exporters more time to ship an allotted 5.5 million bales after they missed this total by a Dec. 15 deadline, two government sources said. More

    When Wrinkle-Free Clothing Also Means Formaldehyde Fumes
    from New York Times
    The iron, that relic of households past, is no longer required to look neat and freshly pressed. Why bother when retailers like Nordstrom offer crisp "wrinkle-free finish" dress shirts and L. L. Bean sells chinos that are "great right out of the dryer." More
     


    AAFA Events & Educational Programs

    Jan. 18, 2011
    Product Safety Seminar
    New York City

    Jan. 20-23, 2011
    Visit with AAFA and Intertek at the Outdoor Retailer Show
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Booth Number TBA

    Feb. 10, 2011
    AAFA Executive Committee Meeting

    Feb. 13, 2011
    AAFA @ Magic: Making Money in a Brave New World
    Las Vegas, NV

    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.


    Haiti Relief Fashion Delivers KIDS Soles4Souls

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

    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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