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Home   About   Media Room   Membership   Resources   Issues   Industry Tools   Events Feb. 7, 2012
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Feb. 7, 2012
Environmental Committee Meeting
Los Angeles, CA

Feb. 8, 2012
Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
Los Angeles, CA

Feb. 9, 2012
AAFA @ UL-STR Responsible Sourcing Summit
Los Angeles, CA

Feb. 12, 2012
Globalizing Your Brand, Selling Overseas in Today's World
Las Vegas, NV

Feb. 12, 2012
Las Vegas, NV

Feb. 13, 2012
AAFA @ FN Platform - The "Dynamic" Internet: Growing Traffic & Revenue by Reducing Risk
Las Vegas, NV

Mar. 6-8, 2012
Human Resources Leadership Council Meeting
Tampa, FL

Mar. 13, 2012
Government Relations Committee Meeting
Washington, DC

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

Mar. 21-22, 2012
2012 Sourcing, Customs & Logistics Conference
New Orleans, LA

Mar. 28-30, 2012
AAFA @ Prime Source Forum
Hong Kong

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: Thomas Pink

Thomas Pink
Melanie Traub, Merchandising, Buying
and Distribution Director
1 Palmerston Court, Palmerston Way
London, SW84Aj
Phone: +44 20 7498 4161

Part of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey group, Thomas Pink is a British shirt maker with flagship stores in London's Jermyn Street, Madison Avenue, New York and Rue Francois Premier, Paris. Altogether there are more than 80 stores around the world – in USA, France, Mexico, Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Canada, and in the UK.

 legislative and regulatory news

Government Contracts — GCC Steering Committee Goes to Capitol Hill as FPI Reform Web site Launched

Representatives from AAFA's Government Contracts Committee (GCC) came to Washington, DC February 1 to meet with members of Congress and their staff on important issues facing the warm industrial base of U.S. clothing and footwear manufacturers, and their U.S. suppliers, who clothe the U.S. military. Representatives from the GCC Steering Committee met with the House Small Business Committee, the Judiciary Committee, Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-TN). The discussions focused on reform of the Federal Prison Industries (FPI) program, the problems associated with the Department of Defense's implementation of reverse auction and Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurement procedures, and the need to strengthen the Berry Amendment. These meetings gave the industry a front row seat to drive change as Congress begins drafting the 2013 Defense Authorization bill and other top legislative priorities this year. To coincide with the lobby day, AAFA on February 1 launched a new Web site — — that highlights the needs of the industry and links to a White House petition urging President Barack Obama to immediately enact much-needed reform of the Federal Prison Industries program. (Kurt Courtney)

Government Contracts — AAFA Supports Legislation to Re-Affirm All Footwear Covered by Berry Amendment

AAFA sent a letter February 1 to Congressman Michael Michaud (D-ME) expressing strong support for his legislation that would ensure that all footwear used by U.S. servicemen and women should fall under the Berry Amendment. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Defense has determined that athletic footwear does not need to fall under Berry Amendment rules. The American Shoes for American Servicemembers Act (H.R. 2955), introduced by Congressman Michaud, would re-affirm that any footwear item used to train and equip U.S. troops must be made in America under the Berry Amendment. (Kurt Courtney)

Labeling — AAFA Urges Federal Trade Commission to Make Commonsense Changes/Updates to Apparel Care Labeling Rules

AAFA submitted comments February 2 to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the rules and regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. The comments addressed the need for U.S. labeling rules to incorporate changes made to international standards, allow for the continued use of multiple languages on labels, clarify the requirements for trimmings, and adopt a rule allowing the recognition of manufacturer identification systems used in other nations including the "CA" system in use in Canada. In addition, AAFA joined with a group of textile, apparel, and retail associations in submitting another set of comments specific encouraging the FTC to modify the information required on hang tags and other point-of-sale materials. (Marie D'Avignon)

Labeling — Federal Trade Commission Seeks Public Comment on Wool Products Labeling Rules

As part of its systematic review of all current rules and guides, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requests comments on the continuing need for, as well as the benefits, costs, and impact of, its Wool Products Labeling Rules. The current rules were established under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 and was amended in 2006 by the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards Conforming Act. Comments are due March 26, 2012. (Marie D'Avignon)

Labor — AAFA Urges EEOC to Allow Continued Use of Criminal Background Checks in Employment Screening

AAFA joined with 53 other trade associations in sending a February 1 letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) urging the Commission to continue to allow for the use of criminal background checks in employment screenings. The EEOC's planned revision of its long-standing guidance will make it more difficult for employers and volunteer organizations to run and review criminal ba9kground checks on job applicants and volunteers. Many AAFA believes fair and appropriate use of criminal histories is one of the most important tools organizations have to protect themselves and their workers, customers, and assets. (Marie D'Avignon)

Labor — Indiana Becomes Right-to-Work State

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels (R) signed a law February 1 making Indiana a "right-to-work" state. Right-to-work laws secure the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. Although Indiana is the 23rd state to sign such a law, it is significant as being the first to do so in the nation's manufacturing heartland. Governor Daniels announced the decision by stating: "seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered." (Marie D'Avignon)

Customs — AAFA Urges CBP to Revamp Burdensome and Costly CAFTA-DR Apparel/Textile Documentation Requirements

AAFA submitted comments February 3 to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expressing strong concern with CBP's burdensome and onerous documentation and paperwork requirements for apparel and textile goods under the U.S./Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The comments urge CBP to work with the industry to revamp the requirements. (Nate Herman)

Ports — AAFA Opposes Washington State Truck Chassis Legislation, Authors Change Bill in Response

AAFA sent a letter January 30 to the Washington State House of Representative's Transportation Committee opposing H.B. 2527. The bill would make intermodal chassis providers solely responsible for any equipment violations. The legislation, if approved, would contravene current federal rules that split liability between equipment providers and the drivers who use the equipment. Placing the responsibility entirely on one party, the equipment provider, reduces safety as drivers would have no reason to follow regulations or report problems. The legislation would also seriously impair the competitiveness of Washington State as chassis providers would likely move to other ports to avoid the additional risk. Finally, the bill would likely increase shipping costs as chassis providers would raise their costs as an insurance for possible fines imposed. In response to letters sent by AAFA and numerous other associations, the Committee decided to change the legislation to not pursue infractions on equipment providers. However, the legislation still raises other concerns. (Marie D'Avignon)

Ports — AAFA-Opposed Clean Ports Amendment to New Transportation Funding Bill Fails in Committee

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 2 struck down, by voice vote, an AAFA-opposed amendment offered by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to attach the Clean Ports Act to legislation to fund transportation and infrastructure projects in the United States for the next 5 years. The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 7) seeks to reform and streamline programs and the project approval process; increase states' flexibility in determining their most critical transportation needs; and encourage private sector participation in financing and rebuilding our infrastructure. Nadler's amendment would have reduced efficiency and increased shipping costs across the nation under the guise of environmental protection. The Committee approved the overall transportation bill. Before going to the full House for a vote, the House Ways and Means Committee must first approve the revenue portion of the $260 billion bill, which proposes one third of the funding to come off shore oil production revenue. The bill is expected to go to the House floor for a vote later this month. (Marie D'Avignon)

Product Safety — CPSC Recalls Infant Bodysuits

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced on February 3 the voluntary recall of 128,000 sets of Carter's Watch the Wear Bodysuits and Sleep ‘n Play Garments. The bodysuits were manufactured by Weeplay Kids LLC in Bangladesh, and were sold by several retail stores. They were recalled due to snaps on the garment that could detach from the fabric of the garment, posing a choking hazard to infants and young children. The firm has received approximately 30 reports of snaps detaching from the garments. No injuries have been reported. AAFA maintains a list of all apparel or footwear related recalls since 1975. (Michael McDonald)

Product Safety — More Canada Recalls for Phthalates

Health Canada on February 1, announced the recall of the "Honey Bunny" Infant Terry Bib, manufactured by Abond Corporation. Also on February 3, Health Canada announced the recall of 11,000 Baby Bibs, manufactured by Dollarama L.P. Health Canada's sampling and evaluation program revealed that the kid's aprons and baby bibs contained phthalates, specifically DINP (di-isononyl phthalate) and DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate), above the allowable limit. Neither Health Canada nor either company have received any reports of incidents or illnesses related to the use of the bibs. (Michael McDonald)

Product Safety — CPSC Symposium on Phthalates Screening and Testing Methods

The CPSC will be hosting a symposium on phthalates screening and testing methods at the CPSC's National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Rockville, Maryland, on March 1, 2012. At the symposium the CPSC is hoping to cover several topics including methods for increased quality control, from the manufacturing process to testing a final product, available chemical analysis instrumentation and techniques, advantages and limitations of available technology, and emerging organic chemical detection and quantification technologies. If you are interested in presenting at the symposium you must register with the CPSC by February 9. All other attendees may register by February 24. (Michael McDonald)

Taxes — eFairness Letters Sent to Senate and Senate Finance

On January 31 AAFA along with many other national and state trade associations, sent two letters to the Senate Finance Committee as well as every other Senator supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832). This bipartisan piece of legislation would create a streamlined system for state collection of sales and use taxes on Internet sales. S. 1832, the Marketplace Fairness Act, represents the best thinking of all the stakeholders and provides a pathway forward for states to collect sales taxes, simplify their sales tax statutes, and assist vendors with compliance, while providing for a robust small business exemption. The 12 Senate cosponsors of the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832) sent a third letter to Baucus and Hatch requesting a hearing. (Michael McDonald)

Safeguards — WTO Rules Against DR Safeguard Prop Bags and Tubular Fabric

On January 31, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the Dominican Republic did not adhere to its WTO obligations when it invoked a safeguard on imports of polypropylene bags and tubular fabric. The complaint was filed in late 2010 by several Central American countries after the Dominican Republic imposed duties on imports as a temporary step to protect its producers. (Steve Lamar)

 AAFA updates

We Wear Perspective — Alvanon on the 2012 Summit

"The AAFA Summit in DC has the best speakers, the most relevant topics, and invigorating industry-government networking. It is clearly the most exciting, insightful, and thought-provoking event on my calendar."

Ed Gribbin, President, Alvanon, Inc.

Join Alvanon, Inc. 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)

AAFA Hosts CPSC Chairman at Product Safety Seminar

More than 150 people attended last week's Product Safety and Sustainability Seminar in New York City to hear the latest information on how to make a compliant product. This full-day event featured U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner (CPSC) Inez Tenebaum as the keynote speaker, who gave updates about the CPSC. Other presentations from the day included state and international compliance regulations and choosing a sustainable manufacturer. The program ended with a panel discussion on managing your brand. Selected presentations will be available on our Web site in the next few weeks. Thank you to our sponsors: Bureau Veritas, Oeko-Tex, Olympus Innov-X, SGS Consumer Testing, Thermo Scientific, TÜV SÜD, and UL-STR. (Heather McCue)

Featured Event — Win a Kindle at AAFA MAGIC and FN Platform Panels

Attend AAFA's upcoming panel discussions at MAGIC and FN Platform for a chance to win a Kindle at each panel!

On February 12 in Las Vegas, AAFA is pleased to present the MAGIC opening keynote session, "Globalizing Your Brand, Selling Overseas in Today's World." "Growth" is a key priority for every apparel and footwear company. With the US economy stagnant, many companies are looking to grow through international expansion via joint ventures, licensing deals, mergers & acquisitions and opening up their own retail stores and distribution outlets. But going global has its risks. Companies must be mindful of the laws and regulations specific to the countries they want to do business in. Regulatory and trade issues, intellectual property laws, labeling requirements, currency exchange, import/export constraints, trademark laws, environmental & social compliance requirements and more. Hear insights and strategies from four industry leaders who have successfully navigated the maze on how best to approach international expansion. Panelists include Rick Darling, President, Li & Fung USA; Deborah Greaves, Secretary & General Counsel, True Religion Brand Jeans; Stanley Silverstein, Executive Vice President of International Strategy & Business Development, The Warnaco Group Inc.; and Tom Travis, Managing Partner, Sandler Travis & Rosenberg. This panel is sponsored by Bureau Veritas, Consumer Products Services. (Mary Howell)

On February 13, AAFA is pleased to present the opening session, "The "Dynamic" Internet: Growing Traffic & Revenue by Reducing Risk," at FN Platform. Brands must adapt to evolving digital risks in order to manage impact on their businesses. Learn from apparel and footwear powerhouses Levi Strauss & Co. and Deckers Outdoor Corporation about how they successfully mitigate risk and grow their e-commerce channels while protecting their brands online. You'll also hear insights and strategies from experts who envision how the radical expansion of the domain naming system in 2013 could benefit or hinder e-commerce growth and revenue. Panelists include Eric Mueller, Director, Global Anti-Counterfeiting, Levi Strauss & Co.; Leah Evert-Burks, Director of Brand Protection, Deckers Outdoor Corporation; Frederick Felman, Chief Marketing Officer, MarkMonitor; and Brian Winterfeldt, Esq., Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP. This panel is sponsored by MarkMonitor and Steptoe & Johnson LLP. (Susan Lapetina)

Attendees at each panel will have the opportunity to win a Kindle!

AAFA Hosts Retail Hotspots Workshop

Retail access in the global marketplace is exploding, giving U.S. brands the opportunity to scale new heights with an eager and ready to buy consumer base. Success, however, is not a one size fits all proposition and the risks are as plentiful as the opportunities. These themes were discussed at AAFA's new workshop, Retail Hotspots: Developing a Strategy to Globalize last week at the PwC offices in NYC. "GDP of emerging markets is growing at twice the rate of advanced markets," opened Dr. Harry G. Broadman, PwC Chief Economist and Emerging Markets Practice Leader, and former White House trade negotiator who provided a macro overview. Understanding the various risk levels in emerging marketplaces is essential, as he encouraged U.S. brands to understand both their entry and exit strategies. Dr. Anastasia Xenias, Senior International Trade Specialist and Global Team Leader, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce showcased its programs to assist U.S. brands find overseas partners including additional market opportunity considerations in both Korea and Australia. Rick Horwitch, Vice President, Business Development for Bureau Veritas gave a presentation on assessing and mitigating the risks of M&A, JV's and licensing; and Ed Gribbin, President, Alvanon, Inc. featured demographic data critical to product development and that proper fit is well ahead of price/value in retail conversion. Brazil, India and China were featured in the afternoon, with presentations from global experts discussing the regulatory, cultural and socio-economic qualities of each country. AAFA would like to extend a special thank you to Jeff Streader, Operating Partner, Marlin Equity, who chaired the program planning group and served as the moderator and master of ceremonies. Our special thank you to event sponsors PwC, Alvanon and Bureau Veritas. The presentations are available on AAFA's Web site. (Susan Lapetina)

 recent AAFA blog posts

Defending Defense Jobs
February 7, 2012 | Political Trends
Even while President Obama is delivering his "jobs message" loud and clear, his administration continues to promote policies that put U.S. jobs in jeopardy.  More

 from the headlines

US reaches deal to avoid Japan, EU trade sanctions
The United States said on Monday it has struck a deal sparing U.S. exporters from hundreds of millions of dollars in European and Japanese trade retaliation in a dispute over how Washington calculates anti-dumping duties on steel and other goods.  More

Rigorous testing at Elizabeth terminal halts many non-US products at the water's edge
The Star-Ledger
The 125 mattresses stacked in the warehouse Monday didn't seem likely to catch fire — the Chinese manufacturer's name didn't raise any red flags, and they appeared properly labeled.  More

Polo puzzle: What goes into a $155 price tag?
The Wall Street Journal
Every piece of clothing has a story: There's far more to a $155 polo shirt than a yard of fabric, four buttons and a length of thread.  More

A foot in the door in Silicon Valley
The New York Times
For barristers in 18th-century London, it was shoulder-grazing wigs. For the mad men of 1950s New York, it was briefcases and fedoras. For the glass-ceiling-shattering women of the 1980s, it was shoulder pads. And for today's tech entrepreneurs in high-flying Silicon Valley, it is flamboyantly colored, audaciously patterned socks.  More

Operation Fake Sweep results in seizure of $4.8 million in fake NFL merchandise
Speaking at a National Football League news conference, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in Chicago David Murphy and NFL Vice President for Legal Affairs Anastasia Danias announced the record-breaking results of a nationwide enforcement operation targeting stores, flea markets and street vendors selling counterfeit game-related sportswear throughout the country.  More

Argentina mulls curbs to check textile imports
The Government of Argentina has put forward three possible measures to protect the domestic textile industry from unfair competition. The measures are increasing import duty, implementation of new Non-Automatic Licensing System, and introducing anti-dumping duties.  More

After recess: Change the world
The New York Times
A battle between a class of fourth graders and a major movie studio would seem an unequal fight. So it proved to be: The studio buckled. And therein lies a story of how new Internet tools are allowing very ordinary people to defeat some of the most powerful corporate and political interests around.  More

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

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