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AAFA Welcomes New Member

Kroque LLC

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AAFA thanks
Executive Summit Sponsor




A leading designer, marketer and wholesaler of branded apparel, footwear and accessories. The company markets directly to consumers through its chain of specialty retail and value-based stores and through its e-commerce web sites.

In this issue...
Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News
  • China-US Currency Manipulation Report Delayed as China Strikes More Conciliatory Stance
  • CPSC Issues Proposed Rule on Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification
  • CPSC Issues Draft Proposed Rules on the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database
  • CPSC Announces More Voluntary Apparel Recalls
  • US Government Releases Report Outlining Foreign Barriers to US Apparel & Footwear Brands
  • AAFA Urges Austrailian Government to Address Wool Mulesing Issue
  • US Requests, Details WTO Examination of Indian Textile Subsidies
    Statistics
  • Apparel, Footwear & Textile Manufacturers/Wholesalers Slowly Adding Workers
    AAFA Member News
  • AAFA Welcomes New Member: Kroque LLC
  • AAFA Education Foundation Message From Dr. Mike Fralix, [TC]2
  • AAFA's Social Media Program Brings Together Brands and Retailers
    In the Press
  • President Obama's New Push Meets Capitol Hill Resistance
  • Product Safety's Own Worst Enemy
  • Feedback Will Help New Uniform Designs
  • U.S. Delays Decision on China Currency Manipulation
  • Pacifying the Panda: U.S. Companies Must Take a New Approach to China
  • U.S. Moves to Curb Emissions from New Vehicles
  • Consumers Not Likely to Feel Commodity Cost Rise


  • Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News

    CHINA - US CURRENCY MANIPULATION REPORT DELAYED AS CHINA STRIKES MORE CONCILIATORY STANCE
    US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced April 3 that the US government will delay the publication of its semi-annual report on currency manipulators to give more time for the United States and China to find an alternative solution to the issue. The report was originally due April 15. The announcement comes amid growing signs that China might be willing to re-value its currency. The decision to delay the report's April 15 publication seems at least in part motivated by an April 12-13 visit to Washington, DC by Chinese President Hu Jintao for a global nuclear security summit. President Barack Obama and Hu plan to meet on the sidelines of that summit. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is still faced with a related decision due this summer on whether to allow currency manipulation to be considered a subsidy under US trade remedy law as part of the ongoing anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) cases against US imports of coated paper from China. (Nate Herman)



    CPSC ISSUES PROPOSED RULE ON TESTING AND LABELING PERTAINING TO PRODUCT CERTIFICATION
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on April 5 issued its long-awaited proposed rule on testing. The rulemaking is mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and establishes requirements for a reasonable testing program and for various testing requirements for children's products like testing random samples, verifying compliance and safeguarding against undue influence on third party testing facilities. The proposed rulemaking also allows manufacturers to label products as compliant with CPSC safety requirements. In addition, the CPSC released a second proposed rule on conditions and requirements for testing component parts of consumer products. While similar to the current Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certification of Children's Products and Other Consumer Products to the August 14, 2009 Lead Limits issued in December 2009, the proposed rule states that a manufacturer or importer may rely on supplier tests and certifications only if the components can be traced throughout the entire supply chain. AAFA will publish more details on the proposed rule in the coming days/weeks through AAFA's Product Safety Council (PSC). (Rebecca Mond)

    CPSC ISSUES DRAFT PROPOSED RULE ON THE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY INFORMATION DATABASE
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posted a notice of proposed rulemaking April 2 regarding the development of a publicly available consumer product information database as required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The purpose of the database is to establish and maintain a publicly accessible, searchable database on the safety of consumer products and other products or substances regulated by the CPSC. The draft proposed rule contains the interpretation of statutory requirements concerning the information to be included in the database. Also included in the proposed rule are interpretations regarding submitting reports of harm, providing the notices of reports of harm to the manufacturers of the products in question, publishing the reports of harm as well as manufacturer comments in the database and procedures for dealing with confidential or materially inaccurate information. The CPSIA requires that the public database be established by March 2011. AAFA will publish more details on the proposed rule in the coming days/weeks through AAFA's Product Safety Council (PSC). (Rebecca Mond)



    CPSC ANNOUNCES MORE VOLUNTARY APPAREL RECALLS
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on March 30 and 31 announced two voluntary recalls of children's upper outerwear due to drawstring violations. The recalls involved 3,900 girls' jackets imported by Sport Obermeyer, Ltd. and 360 boys' vests and 360 jackets distributed by North-Sportif, Inc. The girls' jackets and boys' vests both had drawstrings at the waist presenting entrapment and entanglement hazards while the boys' jackets also had drawstrings at the hood presenting strangulation hazards. No incidents or injuries were reported. The CPSC also announced March 31 the voluntary recall of 2,600 heated jackets and vests imported by Ardica due to burn hazards. While the firm received five reports of the jackets overheating, no injuries were reported. (Rebecca Mond)

    US GOVERNMENT RELEASES REPORT OUTLINING FOREIGN BARRIERS TO US APPAREL & FOOTWEAR BRANDS
    The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on March 31 released its 2010 National Trade Estimates Report on Foreign Trade Barriers. Among other things, the report highlighted some of the barriers faced by US apparel and footwear brands in critical markets around the world, including Japan, Mexico, India, Argentina, and elsewhere. The report, however, failed to highlight many of the other barriers AAFA cited in its November 2009 submission for the report. On the same day, USTR released its first-ever report on technical barriers to US products around the world. The report highlights the AAFA-supported US labeling proposal for apparel and footwear being discussed in the ongoing Doha Round of global trade negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The report also highlights concerns with new technical regulations affecting apparel and footwear in Ecuador. (Nate Herman)


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    AAFA URGES AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS WOOL MULESING ISSUE
    AAFA joined with a number of other associations, brands and retailers in sending a letter March 31 to the Australian Minister of Agriculture urging the Australian government to immediately address the wool mulesing issue. Mulesing is a practice commonly used to protect sheep from potentially deadly bowfly strikes. Animal rights organizations have opposed the practice of mulesing as inhumane. A 2007 agreement between the Australian Wool Industry and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to end the practice of mulesing by the end of this year has since fallen apart. Australia supplies 85 percent of the world's wool. (Nate Herman)

    US REQUESTS, DETAILS WTO EXAMINATION OF INDIAN TEXTILE SUBSIDIES
    The US government requested February 23 that the World Trade Organization (WTO) examine whether Indian textiles and apparel exports have reached a level that would force it to phase out export subsidies. The WTO Secretariat on March 23 released statistical tables and analysis that appear to support the US assertion that India has reached this level in a number of products (measured at the 4 digit HTS level), including the following apparel categories: 6105, 6106, 6107, 6108, 6109, 6111, 6204, 6205, 6206, 6208, 6209, and 6214. A number of other yarn, fabric, and made up lines also appear to meet the criteria. Although members of the WTO may not use export subsidies, certain poor countries are exempt from these rules. However, if a country has reached a level of "export competitiveness" -- defined as a 3.25 percent share of world trade for two consecutive years -- then it may not benefit from this exemption. Once a consensus is reached that India is found to have reached this level -- an outcome which is suggested by the WTO Secretariat study -- India will have 8 years to phase out the export subsidies in question. A previous US request for evaluation of Indian competitiveness came in 2003. Although that review showed that India was export-competitive in several product lines, disagreements over statistical methodologies and phase out schedules prevented further action. (Steve Lamar)

    Statistics



    APPAREL, FOOTWEAR & TEXTILE MANUFACTURERS/WHOLESALERS SLOWLY ADDING WORKERS
    According to the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics April 2 release of March (February for wholesale apparel trade and footwear) employment figures, US total apparel manufacturing employment actually increased by 0.3 percent to 167,100 employees in March, making March the fourth month of increase in employment. Apparel employment in March, however, remained 4.0 percent lower than in March 2009. US footwear manufacturing employment rose 0.7 percent in March to 14,700 workers, after having remained stable the previous two months. Footwear employment in February, however, remained 1.3 percent below February 2009 levels. US textile mill (yarn, fabric, etc.) employment slipped 0.5 percent in March to 121,800 employees after increasing 1.2 percent in February. Textile mill employment in March remained 4.8 percent below March 2009 levels. For its part, US textile product mill (sheets, blankets, towels, curtains, auto/furniture upholstery, etc.) employment rose by 0.2 percent to 121,200 workers in March, reversing a 0.2 percent decline in February. Textile product mill employment, however, remained 5.1 percent below March 2009 levels. Total non-farm employment increased by 162,000 in March, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent. Most analysts had expected more of an increase, but, on the plus side, a smaller percentage of the increase was attributable to temporary workers for the 2010 Census than expected. Please note that the manufacturing figures include total employment (distribution, management, sales & marketing, R&D, administrative, etc., as well as production workers) at all US apparel, footwear and textile manufacturers. (Nate Herman)


    AAFA Member News

    AAFA WELCOMES NEW MEMBER: KROQUE LLC
    Kroque LLC
    Neal Flaster, Managing Partner
    1602 Precision Park Lane
    San Diego, CA 92173
    Tel: 805.680.1800
    nflaster@charter.net

    Kroque LLC manufactures government and military apparel and accessories. Kroque LLC's production meets the rigorous requirements for documentation, quality control and shipping of government contracted goods. (Maureen Storch)


    AAFA EDUCATION FOUNDATION MESSAGE FROM DR. MIKE FRALIX, [TC]2
    It is a pleasure to announce that Steve Jesseph, CEO of WRAP, has been elected President of the AAFA Education Foundation. After 8 years as President of the Foundation, I will pass the torch to Steve at the end of May. Fred Jackson, President of A&E, will become the new Vice President. I wish to recognize and thank the directors that have supported me and the Foundation during my tenure. We have accomplished a great deal during these eight years. The Foundation has continually provided scholarships to 13 colleges and universities that are preparing students to enter our industry. Their programs have all been endorsed by the AAFA HR Leadership Council. In March of 2009, the Directors of the Foundation voted to provide the same level of scholarships to these schools, even though the investment portfolio had lost 38% of its value. The primary reason that this was possible, in spite of market conditions, is due to special Industry Member gifts. This year, the Foundation is proud to announce its first two "named scholarships." One is in honor of George Feldenkreis at Perry Ellis and one is in honor of Siemens PLM. Each of the 13 schools whose programs have been endorsed will, in 2010, name its George Feldenkreis Scholar and its Siemens PLM Scholar. You too can help students while supporting our industry. You could have 13 scholarships named for your company in 2010/2011. All it takes is a contribution of $10,000 to the AAFA Education Foundation. What an excellent opportunity to help ensure a student's future while showing the supportive side of your company! As you know, any amount can make a difference. To receive a pledge form or for additional information on the AAFA Education Foundation, please contact AAFA's Maureen Storch at 703.797.9047. By Dr. Mike Fralix, [TC]2

    AAFA'S SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM BRINGS TOGETHER BRANDS AND RETAILERS
    Demonstrating how the "public venues" of social media support private enterprise, AAFA, FIT's Center for Professional Studies and WDA Marketing showcased a town hall meeting on succeeding in this new and evolving marketplace. With case studies from Barneys, Best Buy, Bluefly.com and Sephora, attendees learned how social media can drive e-commerce, turn a sale into an experience and ultimately build a more personal relationship with the consumer. Many thanks go to event sponsors SAP and TradeCard. All of the presentations are now available on AAFA's website. (Susan Lapetina)


    In the Press

    President Obama's New Push Meets Capitol Hill Resistance
    from Politico
    The president's push to turn health care reform into a catalyst for the rest of his agenda is getting mixed early reactions on Capitol Hill. More

    Product Safety's Own Worst Enemy
    from Apparel Magazine, April 2010 issue, Authored by AAFA President & CEO Kevin M. Burke
    As we mark just over one and a half years of implementation of the CPSIA and one year since the first major reduction in lead limits on February 10, 2009, small victories have sustained an industry struggling with the law's ramifications. More

    Feedback Will Help New Uniform Designs
    from Air Force Times
    Uniforms are getting their own strategic plan. By early June, the Air Force Uniform Office intends to outline the issues that both brass and airmen think should be addressed in the next seven years. More

    U.S. Delays Decision on China Currency Manipulation
    from Financial Times
    The U.S. Treasury Department is postponing a contentious report on international exchange rates, a move that allows the Obama administration to avoid the delicate question of whether to label China a currency "manipulator." More

    Pacifying the Panda: U.S. Companies Must Take a New Approach to China
    from Money Morning
    There's no question about what kind of profit opportunities the Chinese market offers. Moreover, the willingness of U.S. companies to partner with China in the pursuit of profit is equally blatant. So why is it that more U.S. businesses feel less welcome in China now than they did four years ago? More

    U.S. Moves to Curb Emissions from New Vehicles
    from San Francisco Chronicle
    The Obama administration slapped limits Thursday on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks, enacting on a national scale a policy pioneered in California. More

    Consumers Not Likely to Feel Commodity Cost Rise
    from The Wall Street Journal
    Prices are going up for commodities such as iron ore and coal, which means higher production costs for industrial firms that use them as building blocks for products. But little if any of this will filter through to consumers in the form of higher prices for things such as cars and dishwashers. More
     


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    AAFA Events & Educational Programs

    April 14-16, 2010
    RFID Journal LIVE
    Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

    April 21-23, 2010
    AAFA endorsed
    World Retail Congress
    Berlin, Germany

    April 27-30, 2010
    AAFA Information Systems Committee/Product Innovation Council/Supply Chain Leadership Committee meetings
    Las Vegas, NV

    April 29-May 1, 2010
    Financial Management Committee Spring Meeting
    Washington, DC

    May 5, 2010
    Intimate Apparel Council Program
    Union League Club,
    New York City

    May 5-7, 2010
    International Sourcing, Customs & Logistics Integration Conference
    Gansevoort South Hotel, Miami Beach, FL

    May 6, 2010
    International Product Safety & RSL Conference
    Dongguan, China

    May 11, 2010
    International Product Safety & RSL Conference
    Hangzhou, China

    May 17, 2010
    AAFA Education Foundation Gala Reception
    Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA

    May 26, 2010
    American Image Awards
    Grand Hyatt,
    New York City

    Click here for complete schedule of events.




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    RFID Savings Program
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    XRF Analyzers
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    Identification and quantification of toxic metals in products.


    Haiti Relief Fashion Delivers KIDS Soles4Souls

     
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