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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

Mar. 29-30, 2012
Intertex Ethical Sourcing Forum
New York, NY

April 3-5, 2012
Orlando, FL

April 16-18, 2012
ISC & SCPI Spring 2012 Committee Meeting
St. Pete Beach, FL

April 18-20, 2012
2012 Spring Government Contracts Committee Meeting
La Jolla, CA

April 24-26, 2012
AAFA @ Texprocess Americas
Atlanta, GA

May 1, 2012
Navigating the U.S. Footwear Market in 2012 and Beyond
New York, NY

May 7, 2012
34th Annual AAFA American Image Awards
New York, NY

May 22, 2012
Product Safety and Sustainability Seminar & Exhibition
Long Beach, CA

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: AMT

Kerry Malloy, Vice President,
Sales and Marketing
3759 US HWY 1 South, Suite 104
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Phone: 203.273.2844

AMT is an industry leading, state-of the art ERP and supply chain solution for importers and manufactures. The application was designed to allow companies to focus on their business objectives rather than managing data.

 legislative and regulatory news

Government Contracts — DOD releases FPI Market Share Report

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) on February 8 released its Federal Prison Industries (FPI) market share report, which determines which Federal Supply Classes (FSC) FPI controls more than 5% and, therefore, must compete for contracts within that FSC for the upcoming year. The report found that FPI was over the threshold in FSC 8420 (Underwear and Nightwear, Men's) and 8465 (Individual Equipment). DOD has been required to release this report as a result of Section 827 of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. (Kurt Courtney)

Government Contracts — Obama Nominates New Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition

President Barack Obama announced February 10 that he plans to nominate Katrina McFarland to permanently serve as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. Ms. McFarland is currently Acting Assistant Secretary. Ms. McFarland has served as the President of Defense Acquisition University (DAU) since December 2010. Before joining DAU, she was the Director for Acquisition for the Missile Defense Agency, from 2006 to 2010. From 1992 to 2005, she worked for the U.S. Marine Corps System Command, holding several positions including Director of Management and Air Defense Systems. (Kurt Courtney)

Intellectual Property — AAFA Submits Comments for U.S. Government's Annual Special 301 Report

AAFA submitted comments February 10 to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for the agency's annual Special 301 report. The Special 301 process asks intellectual property rights (IPR) holding industries to highlight countries where IPR protection and enforcement are substandard. The AAFA comments for the last several years have identified several important trading partners where apparel and footwear companies experience serious problems in IPR protection including problems registering well-known trademarks, slow judicial processes to adjudicate IPR crimes and overall ineffective enforcement. (Kurt Courtney)

TPP — TPP Apparel Coalition Joins Peruvian Industry in Calling for More Flexible Rules for Apparel

The AAFA-supported TPP Apparel Coalition joined with the Peruvian apparel industry in sending a letter February 9 to both the U.S. and Peruvian governments calling for more flexible rules for apparel in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement. The United States is currently negotiating the TPP with 8 other countries — Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Three other countries — Canada, Japan, and Mexico — have also expressed strong interest in joining TPP. The TPP countries hope to completely negotiations on an agreement by the end of the year. (Nate Herman)

Transportation — Increased Freight Rates for Ocean Shipping in 2012

The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), a discussion group of major container shipping lines that carry U.S. imports from Asia, announced two proposed rate hikes February 9 that could increase freight rates over the next three months. TSA carriers are recommending an across-the-board rate increase of the $300 per 40-foot container (FEU) effective March 15, 2012. TSA also recommends an additional rate increase of $500 per FEU for cargo to the U.S. West Coast and a $700 per FEU increase for all other destinations. The increase is intended to bring Asia-U.S. freight rate back up to near 2011 levels and comes as carriers and importers are preparing for upcoming contract negotiations. In the past, carriers have imposed such "recommendations" in lock-step across the board in all contracts. AAFA continues to pursue legislation in Congress that would eliminate the current anti-trust immunity for ocean carriers and force carriers to operate under the same principles of business competition as the shippers they serve. (Marie D'Avignon)

Trucking — AAFA Opposes Employee Mandate for New Jersey Truck Drivers

AAFA joined with 21 other associations in sending a February 7 letter to members of the New Jersey State Assembly opposing the Truck Operator Independent Contractor Act (A1578/S1450). The legislation would eliminate the owner-operator model for truck drivers and force any individual involved in the drayage trucking or parcel delivery trucking industries to become an employee of a firm. This unnecessary requirement is not only undesirable for many drivers who enjoy the freedom of self-employment, it would also increase transportation costs to businesses and thus the cost of goods to consumers. AAFA has previously opposed similar initiatives around the nation. (Marie D'Avignon)

Trucking — Washington State House Passes Employee Mandate for Drayage Truckers

With a party line vote of 52-43, the Washington State House of Representatives passed a controversial bill February 11 to impose an employee mandate within drayage truck operations. The bill, HB 2395, would deem all drayage truck drivers, including independent owner-operators, to be classified as employees of companies, thus making it possible for them to be organized by a labor union. This unnecessary requirement is not only undesirable for many drivers who enjoy the freedom of self-employment, it would also increase transportation costs to businesses and thus the cost of goods to consumers. AAFA has previously opposed similar initiatives around the nation. H.B. 2395 will now move to the Washington Senate Labor & Commerce Committee, where its fate remains uncertain. (Marie D'Avignon)

Trade — AAFA Welcomes Recognition of Need for SAVE Act

The Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing February 7 on the U.S.-Philippine strategic security and trade relationship. In their discussions on the need for a stronger economic relationship between the Philippines and the United States, Subcommittee Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) and Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell both brought up the importance of the Save Our Industries Act (SAVE Act). The SAVE Act (H.R. 2387/ S.1244) would allow apparel products manufactured in the Philippines using U.S.-made fabrics to enter the United States duty-free. The legislation is strongly supported by AAFA. The legislation, if approved by Congress, would represent the first trade initiative with the Philippines, a former U.S. colony and key ally, in almost four decades. (Marie D'Avignon)

Budget — President Obama Releases Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Plan

President Barack Obama announced his 2013 fiscal year budget on February 13. In all, compared with current tax policies, President Obama's budget would raise $1.4 trillion over the next decade from new taxes on high-income taxpayers. The budget also calls for $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years and an additional $4 trillion in deficit reduction by the year 2018. The President included a letter to Congress in his budget plan that states "Today, we are seeing signs that our economy is on the mend. But we are not out of the woods yet. Instead, we are facing a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get there." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) questioned the president's budget stating that "This proposal isn't really a budget at all. It's a campaign document." The president's budget must now clear both chambers of Congress, where it is likely to face staunch opposition in the Republican controlled House. (Michael McDonald)

Retail — San Francisco Expands Plastic Bag Ban, Imposes Tax on Other Paper and Other Bags

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on February 7 approved a regulation that will ban the use of plastic bags by all retailers in by October 2012. The regulation would also require businesses to charge 10 cents for all other bags - recyclable paper bags, compostable bags and reusable bags - they provide to customers. The move by San Francisco follows recent actions by localities across the country, from recent new taxes on shopping bags in Montgomery County, MD and Washington, DC to a new ban on plastic shopping bags in San Jose, California. The number of local ordinances regulating the use of plastic and other types of shopping bags has grown exponentially over the last few years, with many localities, like San Francisco, moving from taxing the use of plastic shopping bags to banning the use of plastic shopping bags entirely. With an increasing number of AAFA members expressing interest in this issue, AAFA has started to identify resources to help members track this issue. One website, operated by groups working to discourage plastic bag use, contains a comprehensive database of plastic regulations and ordinances in effect. (Nate Herman)

Retail Sales — Apparel and Footwear Sales Rise in January

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's February 14 release of January 2012 Advanced Monthly Sales, seasonally adjusted retail sales at U.S. clothing and clothing accessories stores, which includes shoe stores, did not change from December to January, but rose 5.3% from January 2011. January seasonally adjusted retail sales at U.S. department stores grew by 1.0% from December and also grew 1.5% from January 2011 sales. January 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) rose 2.0% from December and also increased 5.8% over January 2011. January overall retail sales increased 0.4 percent from December, and 5.8 percent from January 2011. (Nate Herman)

Trade Numbers — U.S. Apparel and Footwear Imports Fall in 2011

According to annual 2011 trade data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce February 10, U.S. apparel imports ( -3.6%) and footwear imports (-3.97%) imports fell in 2011. China remained the top apparel supplier with a 40.8% market share in 2011, down from a market share of 42.0% in 2010. Rounding out the top 10 apparel suppliers in 2011 were Vietnam (8.37%), Bangladesh (6.45%), Indonesia (5.48%), Honduras (4.96%), Cambodia (4.35%), Mexico (3.96%), India (3.77%), El Salvador (3.28%), and Pakistan (2.62%). Of the top 10 suppliers, only U.S. apparel imports from Vietnam (+4.6%), Indonesia (+3.6%), and Cambodia (+9.5%) recorded growth while U.S. apparel imports from China declined 6.2%, more than overall U.S. imports. With respect to footwear, China remained the top supplier with a 86.19% market share in 2011, down from a market share of 87.54% in 2010. Rounding out the top 10 footwear suppliers in 2011 were Vietnam (6.57%), Indonesia (2.59%), Mexico (0.73%), Italy (0.67%), Brazil (0.54%), India (0.49%), Thailand (0.39%), the Dominican Republic (0.33%), and Taiwan (0.22%). Of the top 10 suppliers, only U.S. footwear imports from Vietnam (+21.8%), Indonesia (+27.9%), Mexico (+7.4%), and the Dominican Republic (+22.5%) recorded growth while U.S. footwear imports from China declined 5.5%, more than overall U.S. imports. Of note, U.S. footwear imports from #12 supplier Cambodia (+172.6%), #16 supplier Bangladesh (+138.2%), #18 Nicaragua (+828.0%) increased significantly in 2011. (Nate Herman)

 AAFA updates

We Wear Perspective — TradeCard on the 2012 Summit

"In 2012 our entire industry will continue to deal with rapid change everywhere we look; from consumers, to sourcing, to technology and regulations. The annual summit helps to set the agenda for the entire industry. Attendees come away with a better idea of where they will need to focus to be successful in this dynamic environment."

Kurt Cavano, CEO, TradeCard

Join TradeCard 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 — AAFA Brings Environmental and Social Responsibility Committee Meetings to West Coast to Great Success

Over 90 AAFA members joined AAFA in Los Angeles February 7 and 8 for meetings of AAFA's Environmental Committee and AAFA's Social Responsibility Committee. The meetings, graciously hosted by UL-STR Responsible Sourcing, featuring speakers on pressing environmental issues like the Greenpeace Detox Campaign Roadmap, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) Index pilot, REACH, and the California Green Chemistry Regulations as well as social compliance issues facing the industry such as California's Transparency in Supply Chains Act (S.B. 657), BSR's Licensee Guide, the Bangladesh fire safety issue, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Law, and the new rules on conflict minerals. AAFA's Environmental and Social Responsibility Committee meetings will next meet July 24-25, 2012 at the TexWorld Show in New York City. Participation in AAFA's Environmental and Social Responsibility Committees is open to all AAFA members. (Nate Herman)

Member Benefit — No Printer. No Problem.

You're out of town and you need to ship something back to your business. No printer in sight. No problem. The Mobile Shipping Label lets you ship from your mobile device without ever needing a printer. It's easy, convenient and free. To create your label, log in to and select "Create Shipment." When you've completed the shipment details, select "Send a Mobile Shipping Label" at the bottom of the screen, and click "Ship." Take your package to the nearest FedEx Office location or FedEx World Service Center® and they'll scan the Mobile Shipping Label barcode directly from your phone and ship your package. Learn more about the Mobile Shipping Label and other mobile offerings at Don't forget, if you've signed up for the AAFA Freight Savings Plan, you'll save up to 42% on your FedEx Express® shipments and up to 24% on your FedEx Ground® shipments. For more information call Siriani at 1.800.554.0005. 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.

 recent AAFA blog posts

Creating Jobs for Inmates?
Feb. 13, 2012 | Political Trends
Mr. President, help us help you bring back manufacturing jobs for Americans... from the federal program that takes them away.  More

Decision Support: A Critical Component in Product Development
Feb. 13, 2012 | We Wear Perspective — 2012 Summit
Research on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) usage within the apparel and footwear industry continues to show that calendar management, line planning, and collaboration are still challenges for apparel and footwear brand owners and private label retailers.  More

 from the headlines

Apple asks outside group to inspect factories
The New York Times Bits Blog
Responding to a growing outcry over conditions at its overseas factories, Apple said that an outside organization had begun to audit working conditions at the plants where the bulk of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are built, and that the group would make its finding public.  More

Analysis: Obama budget optimistic on economic growth again
President Obama's economists are nothing if not optimistic. In the fiscal year 2013 presidential budget request, they've once again forecast higher future growth than their private-sector peers — about a half-point of gross domestic product growth more, per year, than the 45 economists included in the Philadelphia Fed's Survey of Professional Forecasters.  More

Poll: 63 percent say China is friendly to US
As China's vice president, and expected next president, Xi Jinping, meets with President Barack Obama as part of a five-day visit, the majority of Americans consider China to be a friendly nation, but few consider the country to be an ally, according to a new Gallup Poll Tuesday.  More

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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