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AAFA Welcomes New Member



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In this issue...
Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News
  • Members of Congress Introduce AAFA-Supported Legislation to Standardize "Activity" Tax Treatments by States
  • Obama Administration Announcement Starts Legislative Process on Pending FTAs
  • House Armed Services Chair Releases Draft DOD Authorization Bill
  • FPI Concerns Articulated in DOD Authorization Bill
  • Congress Holds Hearing on ICANN's Proposed Internet Generic Top-Level Domain Names
  • FMCSA Reopens Hours of Service Comment Period
  • Product Safety — Washington State Child Safe Product Act — New Draft Reporting Rule Release — Request for Comments
  • CPSC Recalls Girl's Hooded Sweaters Due to Strangulation Hazard
  • Canada Recalls "Hello Kitty" Cotton Nightshirts for Children Due to Flammable Fabrics
  • AAFA Calls on U.S. Government to Condemn Uzbekistan Over Use of Forced Child Labor in its Cotton Fields
  • IRS Delays Withholding Requirement as Congress Works to Repeal the Measure
  • Latest Apparel, Footwear & Textile Manufacturing/Wholesale Employment Numbers Released
  • Uncle Sam Wants You...To Comment!
    Member News
  • AAFA Welcomes New Member: TAGSYS RFID
  • AAFA Announces New Staff Responsibilities and New Team Member
    In the Press
  • US Republicans Press for Results from US-China Talks
  • A Local Push for Military to Wear US Sneakers
  • China's Manufacturing Pace Slows As Beijing Wages War on Inflation


  • Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News

    MEMBERS OF CONGRESS INTRODUCE AAFA-SUPPORTED LEGISLATION TO STANDARDIZE "ACTIVITY" TAX TREATMENT BY STATES
    AAFA joined with others sending a May 4 letter urging Congress to quickly approve H.R. 1439, the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011. The legislation, introduced by Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), would establish a physical presence test so that companies and states have a clear understanding as to when states can tax out-of-state companies. Many states are currently attempting to assess state income taxes and other business activity taxes on companies that have no physical presence in the state. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law held an April 13 hearing on the legislation, which the House could approve later this year. Similar legislation has yet to be introduced in the Senate. (Kurt Courtney)



    OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCEMENT STARTS LEGISLATIVE PROCESS ON PENDING FTAs
    After Colombia met the first in a series of deadlines as part of a deal on labor, the Obama administration on May 4 sent letters to Congress indicating its readiness to begin technical discussions with Congress on the draft implementing bills and draft Statements of Administrative Action for the pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The letters start the legislative process for consideration and, hopefully, approval of the three FTAs before Congress leaves for its August recess. Meanwhile, the Obama administration also announced progress towards an agreement to move legislation renewing the AAFA-supported Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Renewal of TAA is seen a necessary by many Democrats in order to move on the pending FTAs as well as renewal of the expired AAFA-supported Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference programs. (Nate Herman)

    HOUSE ARMED SERVICES CHAIR RELEASES DRAFT DOD AUTHORIZATION BILL
    In preparation for a mark up later this week, House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck Mckeon (R-CA) has formally unveiled his recommendations for the FY 2012 Defense Authorization Bill. Once approved by both chambers and signed into law, the bill establishes funding priorities and levels for the Pentagon and related defense spending. It also established key policies and legislative priorities for the year. Among the provisions in the bill is a requirement that the Secretary of Defense submit an annual budget justification for organization clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) policy for the year. In explaining this requirement, the legislation notes, "The committee continues to be concerned that the military services are reliant on overseas contingency operation requests to fund OCIE requirements and believes that greater transparency in annual budget justification materials would enhance oversight." (Kurt Courtney)

    FPI CONCERNS ARTICULATED IN DOD AUTHORIZATION BILL
    Proposed language in Title VII of that draft the FY 2012 Defense Authorization Bill unveiled this week also expresses serious concerns related to the way in which Federal Prison Industries (FPI) procurements are made by the Defense Department (DoD). Specifically, the report language suggests that DoD is not "complying with the intent" of recent FPI reforms. It notes that DoD was recently tasked to conduct a comprehensive review of contract awards made to FPI "to ensure that non-competitive awards are not being made to FPI inappropriately." It further tasks the Secretary of Defense to provide an update on that review, including recommendations of any DoD policy changes, by July 30, 2011. (Kurt Courtney)

    CONGRESS HOLDS HEARING ON ICANN'S PROPOSED INTERNET GENERIC TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN NAMES
    The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held a hearing May 4 on ICANN's proposed Generic Top-Level Domains ("gTLD"). Witnesses included a representative from ICANN and several other Internet stakeholder groups. Testimony and questioning centered heavily on whether ICANN had in place adequate mechanisms to protect trademark holders' rights in the new gTLD space, which would allow for the creation of customized top-level domain names like .disney, .pepsi, and .pampers. Witnesses and committee members raised concerns around trademark infringement, copyright abuses, counterfeiting and other cybercrimes. With the possibility of hundreds of new generic Internet domain names as soon as 2013, members of the Subcommittee asked witnesses to describe their chief concerns pertaining to the potential need to enforce against these cybercrimes in a vastly larger Internet space. Witnesses continued to express concerns over the potential need to defensively register millions of dollars worth of gTLDs, placing an enormous financial burden on IPR industries, such as apparel and footwear companies. With ICANN set to approve the final version of the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook at a pre-scheduled special session meeting of the ICANN Board in Singapore on June 20, 2011, several members of Congress stressed the need for ICANN to take very serious note of the trademark holders' interests before proceeding with the launch of the gTLD program. Indeed, at various points, the prospect of calling a further Congressional hearing to order on this subject was raised. (Kurt Courtney)

    FMCSA REOPENS HOURS OF SERVICE COMMENT PERIOD
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has reopened the (Hours of Service) HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) comment period until June 8 to allow for public review and discussion of four new research studies that have been added in the official rulemaking docket. These four studies include The Impact of Driving, Non-Driving Work, and Rest Breaks on Driving Performance in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations; Hours of Service and Driver Fatigue-Driver Characteristics Research; Analysis of the Relationship Between Operator Cumulative Driving Hours and Involvement in Preventable Collisions; and Potential Causes Of Driver Fatigue: A Study On Transit Bus Operators In Florida. AAFA previously submitted comments to the FMCSA in opposition to the HOS proposed rulemaking and has raised serious questions about the research and data used by the FMCSA to justify these proposed changes. (Michael McDonald)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — WASHINGTON STATE CHILD SAFE PRODUCT ACT — NEW DRAFT REPORTING RULE RELEASE — REQUEST FOR COMMENTS
    Last week, the Washington State Department of Ecology released a new draft of the reporting rule for the Children's Safe Product Act (CSPA). Under the CPSA, which was approved several years ago, products containing chemicals of high concern to children (CHCC) that are sold in Washington State need to be reported to Washington State. AAFA commented during the initial phase which closed on January 7, 2011. After reviewing submitted materials from the comment period, the Department of Ecology has released an updated draft of the rule and is accepting comments on this new draft rule until June 15, 2011. (Greg Yahr)

    CPSC RECALLS GIRL'S HOODED SWEATERS DUE TO STRANGULATION HAZARD
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on May 3 announced the voluntary recall of 300 girl's hooded sweaters with drawstrings. The sweaters which were manufactured by El Gringo imports, were recalled due to a strangulation and entrapment hazard posed by the drawstrings through the hood. No incidents or injuries were reported. (Michael McDonald)

    CANADA RECALLS "HELLO KITTY" COTTON NIGHSTHIRTS FOR CHILDREN DUE TO FLAMMABLE FABRICS
    The Canadian Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on May 4 announced the voluntary recall of 860 "Hello Kitty" cotton nightshirts. The nightshirts, which were manufactured by Goldor Sales and sold by Giant Tiger Stores Ltd., 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. (Michael McDonald)

    AAFA CALLS ON U.S. GOVERNMENT TO CONDEMN UZBEKISTAN OVER USE OF FORCED CHILD LABOR IN ITS COTTON FIELDS
    AAFA joined with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Socially Responsible Investors (SRIs) and other stakeholders in sending a May 5 letter urging the U.S. State Department to downgrade Uzbekistan to Tier III status in the next publication of its Trafficking in Persons report. Uzbekistan's continued widespread use of government sanctioned forced child labor in its cotton fields and the Uzbek government's continued refusal to allow the International Labor Organization (ILO) to send an assessment mission to Uzbekistan to watch the fall cotton harvest demonstrate that Uzbekistan is unwilling to take the steps necessary to address forced child labor in its cotton fields. (Nate Herman)

    IRS DELAYS WITHHOLDING REQUIREMENT AS CONGRESS WORKS TO REPEAL THE MEASURE
    Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final rules to delay implementation of a new 3 percent withholding requirement on government contracts until 2013. The new requirement, which will apply to contracts with federal, state and local governments, was included in Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. Under today's rule, the withholding and reporting requirements generally will apply to payments made after Dec. 31, 2012. Despite the delay in the effective date, some members of Congress and the business community are working to totally repeal the withholding requirement. In the meantime, on May 26, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on the 3% withholding tax. The House repeal bill, HR 674, introduced by Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA) currently has 101 cosponsors and the combined total on the two Senate bills, S. 89 and S. 164, introduced by Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Scott Brown (R-MA) comes to 16, including the lead sponsors. (Kurt Courtney)

    LATEST APPAREL, FOOTWEAR & TEXTILE MANUFACTURING/WHOLESALE EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RELEASED
    According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics May 6 release of April (March for wholesale apparel trade and footwear) employment figures, U.S. total apparel manufacturing employment actually inched up by 0.1% to 155,300 employees in April. Apparel manufacturing employment in April, however, remained 1.5% lower than in April 2010. U.S. footwear manufacturing employment fell 3.1% in March to 12,300 workers. Footwear employment in March remained 3.9% below March 2010 levels. U.S. apparel wholesale trade employment rose 1.2% in March to 142,400 workers. Reflecting the continuing recovering in the industry, apparel wholesale trade employment in March was 5.6% higher than in March 2010. U.S. textile product mill (sheets, blankets, towels, curtains, auto/furniture upholstery, etc.) employment slipped 0.3% in April to 115,700 employees. Textile product mill employment in April remained 2.4% below April 2010 levels. For its part, U.S. textile mill (yarn, fabric, etc.) employment rose by 0.7% to 121,100 workers in April. Again reflecting the continued economic recovery, textile mill employment in April actually rose 1.6% from April 2010 levels. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 in April, but the unemployment rate rose to 9.0% (from 8.8%) as the improving jobs environment encouraged more people to start looking for jobs again. Job gains occurred in retail, professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, machinery, primary metals, computers and electronics manufacturing and mining while state and local government employment fell in April. (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: TAGSYS RFID

    TAGSYS RFID
    Doug Karp, Vice President
    1006 W. 9th Avenue – Suite 30
    King of Prussia, PA 19406
    Doug.karp@tagsysrfid.com
    Phone: 267.882.48730
    Website: www.tagsysrfid.com

    TAGSYS is the world leader in item-level RFID infrastructures. The company provides complete, reliable, high performance RFID item-level visibility systems for a variety of industries and applications. TAGSYS' integrated systems allow customers to monitor their supply chain processes, from manufacturing to retail; improving logistics, receipt, purchasing, and shrink management processes anywhere in the world.


    AAFA ANNOUNCES NEW STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES AND NEW TEAM MEMBER
    AAFA is pleased to announce new staff responsibilities for four AAFA staff members and a new addition to the AAFA team. Heather McCue has been promoted to Program Manager in the Industry Relations department and is now the staff liaison for the Intimate Apparel Council and the Supply Chain & Product Innovation Committee. Scott Elmore has been promoted to Director of Communications and Marketing and will continue to oversee AAFA marketing efforts and media relations. Greg Yahr, who previously worked as Program Manager in the Industry Relations Department is now a Government Relations Representative. Yahr will be the AAFA lead on environmental and sustainability issues, including the AAFA Restricted Substances List and the Environmental Committee. Government Relations Representative Michael McDonald has assumed AAFA's active product safety portfolio. AAFA is also pleased to welcome Corinne Murphy to the AAFA team as Program Coordinator for the Industry Relations Department. Murphy joins AAFA from the National Football League Players Association. (Pat Carty)


    In the Press

    US Republicans Press for Results from US-China Talks" class="ArticleLink">US Republicans Press for Results from US-China Talks
    from Reuters
    Congressional Republicans urged the Obama administration to hold China's feet to the fire over currency and industrial policies they said are hurting American companies.  More
    Send It Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article


    A Local Push for Military to Wear US Sneakers
    from Boston.com
    Since World War II, US military forces have worn American-made apparel from their helmets down to their socks. Every stitch, every yard of camouflage, every combat boot is supposed to come from a US factory. More

    China's Manufacturing Pace Slows As Beijing Wages War on Inflation
    from The Wall Street Journal
    China's battle against inflation may have caused collateral damage to the country's colossal manufacturing sector and, potentially, to the pace of global economic growth. More
     


    AAFA Events & Educational Programs

    May 11 - 13, 2011
    2011 International Sourcing, Customs & Logistics Integration Conference
    Miami, FL

    May 17, 2011
    Environmental Committee Meeting
    New York, NY

    May 18, 2011
    Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
    New York, NY

    May 25, 2011
    West Coast Product Safety & Chemical Management Seminar
    Hollywood, CA

    May 31 - June 3, 2011
    U Connect Live
    Orlando, FL

    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.

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

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