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AAFA Welcomes New Member



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In this issue...
Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News
  • Congress Approves Six Week Extension of Andean Preferences, But Fails to Approve Other Key Trade Measures
  • China Currency Legislation Fails to Pass Senate Before Congress Adjourns
  • Congress Passes Defense Authorization Bill
  • Congress Approves Short Term Extension of Small Biz Access to Credit Provisions
  • Product Safety — More California Proposition 65 Notices Issued
  • Product Safety — CPSC to Hold Web Conference Explaining the New Consumer Product Safety Information Data Base
  • Product Safety — CPSC Clarifies Lifting of Stay for Adult Textiles
  • Product Safety — CPSC Recalls Baby Socks and Leg Warmers Due to Choking Hazard
  • Product Safety — Canada Recalls Several Pajama Products Due to Safety Hazards
  • Product Safety — Truth in Fur Labeling Act Signed Into Law
  • EU Adds Chemicals to European REACH SVHC List
  • Korea KC Mark Requirements Now in Effect
  • USTR Releases 2010 Report to Congress on China's WTO Compliance
  • 2010 Census Results Released — Could Affect Political Landscape Going Into 2012 Elections
  • U.S. Government Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Free Trade Zones (FTZs)
  • AAFA Publishes 3rd Quarter Legislative Update
  • Uncle Sam Wants You...to Comment!
    Member News
  • AAFA Welcomes New Member: McGladrey
  • Offset Rate Increases With Freight Savings Plan Discounts
    In the Press
  • Incoming House GOP Chairmen Have a Long List of Issues to Investigate
  • House Republicans set Jan. 12 Vote on Repeal of Health Care Law
  • Economic Forecasters See Growth in 2011, But Risk Factors Remain for Recovery
  • Brazil Is Poised to Pressure Beijing on Currency Policy
  • A Year Later, Haiti Struggles Back
  • What It Took To Get the Defense Spending Bill Passed
  • O-7 Relieved of Command at DLA
  • Shoe Tariffs: America's Worst Ta


  • Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News

    CONGRESS APPROVES SIX WEEK EXTENSION OF ANDEAN PREFERENCES, BUT FAILS TO APPROVE OTHER KEY TRADE MEASURES
    President Barack Obama on December 29 signed into law the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010 (H.R. 6517). The AAFA-supported legislation extends the Andean Trade Promotion & Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAA) for six weeks (through February 12, 2011). Please note that the legislation removed Peru from receiving any benefits under the Andean preference program, meaning that U.S. apparel and footwear imports from Peru now only receive benefits under the U.S./Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (FTA). Both programs were scheduled to expire on December 31, 2010. Contrary to its name, however, the final legislation did not include key AAFA-supported provisions, such as: a package of temporary duty-suspensions through a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) package; extension of the cotton trust fund; technical fixes to the wool trust fund; and extension of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which expired December 31, 2010. Further, thanks to the short duration of the extension, trade-related legislation will likely be one of the first measures taken up by the new 112th Congress when it is seated later this week. (Nate Herman)



    CHINA CURRENCY LEGISLATION FAILS TO PASS SENATE BEFORE CONGRESS ADJOURNS
    Thanks in part to the efforts of AAFA and others, the U.S. Senate failed to approve China currency legislation (H.R. 2378) before it adjourned for holidays. The legislation, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly in September, would punish China for its alleged currency manipulation by allowing the U.S. government to consider currency manipulation as a countervailable subsidy under U.S. trade remedy laws. The legislation will likely come up again before Congress this year. (Nate Herman)

    CONGRESS PASSES DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL
    Before adjourning, Congress cleared a compromise version of the defense authorization bill (see joint explanatory statement), the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (H.R. 6523). The $725 billion bill included a ban on the transfer of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States, which goes directly against one of President Barack Obama's primary campaign promises to shut down the detention facility there. The legislation did not include a controversial provision authorizing payments to residents of Guam who suffered or lost relatives under Japanese military occupation in World War II. The legislation did include a 1.4 percent pay raise for services members, which is a cut from the previously proposed 1.9 percent pay raise. President Obama, who received the legislation late last week, is expected to sign the measure in the coming days. (Kurt Courtney)

    CONGRESS APPROVES SHORT TERM EXTESION OF SMALL BIZ ACCESS TO CREDIT PROVISIONS
    Before adjourning for the year, Congress approved — as part of larger legislation that will keep the government operating through March 4 — provisions to extend several AAFA-supported Small Business Administration (SBA) financing programs. Included in the extension are the SBA 90 percent loan guarantees as well as the borrower fee reductions on SBA 7(a) loans. This extension will keep the program running until March 4 or until the funds in the program are expended. Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law the AAFA-supported Small Business Jobs Act, which permanently increased the SBA loan limits from $2 million to $5 million. (Kurt Courtney)



    PRODUCT SAFETY — MORE CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 NOTICES ISSUED
    Professional California Proposition 65 litigants, Consumer Advocacy Group, Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E, John Moore and the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) finished 2010 with a bang, issuing 20 new “60-day notices” in the month of December alone alleging that brands and retailers sold footwear (Notice 1; Notice 2; Notice 3), clothing (Notice 1), children's bags/apparel (Notice 1), tote bags (Notice 1), wallets (Notice 1; Notice 2; Notice 3), belts (Notice 1; Notice 2; Notice 3, Notice 4), cosmetic/toiletry cases (Notice 1), mobile device and laptop cases (Notice 1; Notice 2; Notice 3, Notice 4) and luggage tags (Notice 1; Notice 2) in California that contained phthalates and lead in violation of Prop 65. The notices serve as intent to bring lawsuits 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. (Rebecca Mond)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — CPSC TO HOLD WEB CONFERENCE EXPLAINING THE NEW CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY INFORMATION DATA BASE
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will hold two Web conferences on the soon to be active publicly available consumer product safety information database to demonstrate to interested stakeholders the database's incident reporting form, industry registration and comment features and search functions. Stakeholders may participate in person or online but must register beforehand. The first Web conference will be held from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on Tuesday January 11 and the second will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday January 20, 2011.

    PRODUCT SAFETY — CPSC CLARIFIES LIFTING OF STAY FOR ADULT TEXTILES
    As a result of AAFA's request for clarification, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced December 28 that the stay of enforcement of the General Conformity Certification (GCC) provisions of section 14 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) will expire on January 26, 2011 for non-children's products subject to CPSC regulations pertaining to vinyl plastic film, carpets and rugs and clothing textiles. The announcement clarifies an earlier CPSC decision, which, with no notice, had appeared to have lifted the stay of enforcement for third party testing and certification for non-children's products subject to the above regulations on November 16, 2010. (Rebecca Mond)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — CPSC RECALLS BABY SOCKS AND LEG WARMERS DUE TO CHOKING HAZARD
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 23 announced the voluntary recall of 4,500 pairs of Baby leg warmers and socks. The socks, which were manufactured by BabyUnited LLC, were recalled due to a choking hazard posed by a heart appliqué that can detach. The recall was the 47th in 2010 involving apparel or footwear. (Rebecca Mond)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — CANADA RECALLS SEVERAL PAJAMA PRODUCTS DUE TO SAFETY HAZARDS
    Health Canada announced the voluntary recall of several unsafe apparel products including Boys Polo Pyjama Sets, Children's 2-Piece Pyjamas, Girls' Pyjama Sets, and Baby Sleepers. The Items, which were manufactured by Tandra Fashions, Stocklots Inc. Multiprint Tex Manufacturing Ltd., and Bechimex, respectively, were recalled due the clothing not meeting the design and flammability requirements for children's sleepwear under Canadian law. (Rebecca Mond)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — TRUTH IN FUR LABELING ACT SIGNED INTO LAW
    President Barack Obama on December 18 signed into law the Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2010. The law aims to improve the accuracy of fur product labeling. The new law removes the previous small value exemption by requiring labeling on all products containing fur, regardless of the value of the product. The law further confers that individual states have the right to adopt or enforce more restrictive fur labeling requirements than those required by federal law. (Rebecca Mond)

    EU ADDS CHEMICALS TO EUROPEAN REACH SVHC LIST
    The European Chemical Agency in December approved the addition of 8 new chemicals to the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). This brings the total number of chemicals on the SVHC list to 46. Currently, regulations require that importers or producers supply safe use instructions on all articles so in Europe containing SVHC chemicals to customers and consumers within 45 days of a request for said information. These chemicals will be further studied and could ultimately be regulated under REACH. The new chemicals are as follows: chromium trioxide, acids generated from chromium trioxide and their oligomers, cobalt (II) sulphate, cobalt (II) dinitrate, cobalt (II) carbonate, cobalt (II) diacetate, 2-methoxyethanol, 2-ethoxyethanol. These new additions will be reflected in the next update of AAFA's Restricted Substances List (RSL). (Greg Yahr)

    KOREA KC MARK REQUIREMENTS NOW IN EFFECT
    The Korean KC mark system, which takes the place of a number of other seals and certifications previously required in Korea, went into effect January 1, 2011. Products sold in Korea must bear the KC mark to demonstrate compliance with certain Korean laws and regulations related to health, safety, and environmental quality. For KC mark chemical reporting requirements related to apparel and footwear, please go to AAFA's Restricted Substances List (RSL). (Greg Yahr)

    USTR RELEASES 2010 REPORT TO CONGRESS ON CHINA'S WTO COMPLIANCE
    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on December 28 issued its 2010 annual report on China's compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. The report found that China has taken many steps since it joined the WTO in 2001 to reform its economy, but the overall picture is complex, given a troubling trend toward increased state intervention in the Chinese economy in recent years. (Nate Herman)

    2010 CENSUS RESULTS RELEASED — COULD AFFECT POLITICAL LANDSCAPE GOING INTO 2012 ELECTIONS
    The Department of Commerce's U.S. Census Bureau on December 21 released the first results from the 2010 Census. The data showed the U.S. population had grown to 308,745,538 people, a 9.7 percent growth from 2000. This growth rate is the lowest since the Great Depression. One of the largest outcomes of the census results is the re-apportionment of seats in Congress. The biggest changes were New York and Ohio, both losing 2 seats, while Florida gained 2 seats and Texas gained 4 seats. (Nate Herman)

    U.S. GOVERNMENT SEEKS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO FREE TRADE ZONES (FTZs)
    The U.S. government requests comments regarding proposed amendments to its Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) Regulations, 15 CFR Part 400. The proposed amendments would encompass changes related to manufacturing and value added activity, as well as new rules designed to address compliance with the Act's requirement for a grantee to provide uniform treatment for the users of a zone. According to the U.S. government, the new rules should: improve flexibility for U.S.-based operations, particularly for most circumstances involving exports; enhance clarity; and strengthen compliance and enforcement. The revisions would also reorganize the regulations in the interest of ease-of-use and transparency. Comments are due April 8. (Nate Herman)

    AAFA PUBLISHES 3RD QUARTER LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
    With the 112th Congress scheduled to begin January 5, Congress has a full agenda of issues to tackle that are new and some that were left unresolved when Congress adjourned in Decemeber. For more information, please see AAFA's 4th Quarter Legislative Update. (Kurt Courtney)


    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: McGladrey

    McGladrey
    Carol Lapidus, Partner
    1185 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10036
    Phone: 212.372.1272
    E-mail: Carol.lapidus@mcgladrey.com
    Website: www.mcgladrey.com

    McGladrey provides assurance, tax and consulting for growing companies, and is the fifth largest provider in the United States. Their Retail & Consumer Products Practice, with decades of experience in the industry helps companies improve in a constantly evolving marketplace.


    OFFSET RATE INCREASES WITH FREIGHT SAVINGS PLAN DISCOUNTS
    Carriers have announced their new rate increases so now it's more important than ever to take advantage of the AAFA Freight Savings Plan. As an AAFA member, you can save up to 42% on select FedEx Express® services and up to 24% on select FedEx Ground® services. For details, call Siriani at 1.800.554.0005. FedEx Express announced a net average increase of 3.9% on U.S. and U.S. export services, effective Jan. 3, 2011. FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery® rates increase by a net average of 4.9%, also effective Jan. 3, 2011. (UPS announced an effective 4.9% net average rate increase for both express and parcel services.) Both FedEx and UPS are implementing the same dimensional weight calculation changes. For details go to fedex.com/us/2011rates/otherchanges.html. 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.


    In the Press

    Incoming House GOP Chairmen Have a Long List of Issues to Investigate
    from Washington Post
    House Republican leaders announced plans Monday for congressional investigations into a wide range of issues, from corruption in Afghanistan to Washington's regulation of private industries, using the power of their new majority to launch probes that could embarrass the Obama administration. More

    House Republicans set Jan. 12 Vote on Repeal of Health Care Law
    from Washington Post
    House Republicans have set Jan. 12 as their day to vote on a repeal of President Obama's health care law, after a midterm election in which they campaigned against the landmark legislation as a government takeover of the health industry. More

    Economic Forecasters See Growth in 2011, But Risk Factors Remain for Recovery
    from Washington Post
    As 2011 begins, the United States is poised for its strongest year of economic growth since the recession began three years ago. More

    Brazil Is Poised to Pressure Beijing on Currency Policy
    from Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
    Brazil's overvalued currency may be turning the South American giant into a U.S. ally on a key economic issue: Pressuring China to let its own currency strengthen to address global trade imbalances. More

    A Year Later, Haiti Struggles Back
    from New York Times
    After a year of almost unfathomable hardship in Haiti, there is little reason to be hopeful now. More

    What It Took To Get the Defense Spending Bill Passed
    from Washington Post
    It's quite amazing what Congress can do when there is bipartisan agreement among the leadership and public attention is focused elsewhere. More

    O-7 Relieved of Command at DLA
    from Air Force Times
    An Air Force brigadier general was relieved of his command earlier this month after a Defense Department inspector general's report raised questions about his performance. More

    Shoe Tariffs: America's Worst Tax
    from DLC
    To understand a poor woman's life, as the proverb says, walk a mile in her shoes. If you want to make her life a bit easier, help her buy a new pair. More
     


    AAFA Events & Educational Programs

    Jan. 18, 2011
    Product Safety Seminar
    New York City

    Jan. 20-23, 2011Visit with
    AAFA and Intertek at the Outdoor Retailer Show
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Booth Number 30197W

    Feb. 2, 2011
    Intimate Apparel Council Program
    New York City

    Feb. 10, 2011
    AAFA Executive Committee Meeting

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

    Feb. 23, 2011
    Human Resources Leadership Council Meeting
    Cary, NC

    March 2, 2011
    Government Relations Committee Meeting
    Washington, DC

    March 2, 2011
    AAFA Board of Directors Meeting
    Washington, DC

    March 2-4, 2011
    2011 AAFA Annual Executive Summit
    Washington, DC

    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

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