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|Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News|
CIT GROUP DECLARES BANKRUPTCY
CIT Group announced November 1 that it filed for bankruptcy. CIT is one of the leading factoring companies in the United States and is a vital source of financing for manufacturers as well as the small and medium-sized vendors who are the primary suppliers of merchandise sold in US retail establishments. The company hopes to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy proceedings before the end of the year. (Nate Herman)
AAFA APPLAUDS BREAKTHROUGH TOWARDS RESTORING STABILITY IN HONDURAS
AAFA applauded the October 30 announcement of a breakthrough in negotiations that would move a step forward towards restoring stability in Honduras. The announcement came shortly after AAFA joined others in an October 27 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urging the United States to work towards a quick resolution to the situation. The letter noted that US apparel brands and retailers and US textile manufacturers have faced uncertainty and declining orders because of the volatile political situation that has plagued the region since June. (Nate Herman)
OBAMA SIGNS 2010 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL
President Barack Obama on October 28 signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 into law. The $680 billion measure includes cuts to several military programs consistent with Obama's goal to improve efficiency and find savings in the Pentagon budget. In response to bad publicity surrounding several military contractors in Iraq, the law includes a provision to end the use of "no-bid contracts," a major priority of the President to better track the use of government spending. As reported previously, a provision that sought to standardize all combat uniforms across all the services was not included in the final package sent to the President. (Kurt Courtney)
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AAFA SIGNS LETTER URGING MORE CREDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
AAFA joined other business associations in sending an October 28 letter urging Congress to increasing access to credit for small businesses. The letter asks Congress to extend the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty provisions under the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) ("stimulus" bill) through Fiscal Year 2010. The letter also requests Congress to support legislation sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), respectively, that would increase the maximum loan size and the maximum guaranteed portion of SBA loans (S. 1832 and S. 1615, respectively). (Kurt Courtney)
CONGRESS TO VOTE THIS WEEK ON NET OPERATING LOSS RELIEF
This week, Congress plans to clear two bills that will secure as much as $33 billion in refunds from the federal government for taxes paid as far back as 2003. Businesses hammered by the recession won support for the plan from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who included the tax refunds to legislation extending unemployment benefits. The tax provision would allow businesses to carry back losses incurred in either 2008 or 2009 to offset taxes paid up to five years previously, three more years than current law allows. If the Senate passes the jobless-benefits bill in its current form, House leaders are expected to bring it directly to the floor and vote on it without modification and then immediately send it to President Barack Obama for his signature. (Kurt Courtney)
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CPSC ANNOUNCES DECEMBER 10-11 WORKSHOP TO DISCUSS PENDING TESTING RULEMAKING
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it will hold a workshop December 10-11, 2009 at its headquarters in Bethesda, MD to discuss testing, certification and labeling issues related to the pending testing rulemaking required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The rulemaking, currently expected to be issued by November 15, is required to establish protocols and standards to ensure: that children's products subject to product safety rules are subject to periodic testing when there has been a material change in the product; that testing is performed on random samples; that there is verification that the children's product tested does actually comply with the product safety rule and that testing is performed in a manner that safeguards against undue influence on the third party testing facility. In its announcement, the CPSC outlined many of the difficulties the agency is facing in creating the testing rulemaking. The two-day workshop is intended to discuss some of the options the CPSC has developed to address these issues and to hopefully create a testing program that both reduces the likelihood of unsafe or non-compliant products entering the market while not overly burdening businesses. (Rebecca Mond)
AAFA URGES CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON CPSIA
AAFA joined over three dozen other business and trade associations in sending an October 28 letter to Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) requesting that he schedule a Senate Commerce Committee hearing soon to review the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on September 10 on the CPSIA with the newly appointed Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Inez Tennenbaum as the only witness. However, the business community hopes that an additional hearing would not only give Chair Tennenbaum an opportunity to further detail unresolved implementation issues, but also give the business community the opportunity to testify regarding its concerns. (Rebecca Mond)
AAFA URGES PERMANENT LACEY ACT EXEMPTION FOR APPAREL AND FOOTWEAR
AAFA submitted comments November 2 to the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding the import declaration requirements under the recent amendments to the Lacey Act. AAFA urged APHIS to permanently exempt apparel, footwear, textiles and travel goods from the import declaration requirements. Thanks to the efforts of AAFA, apparel, footwear, textiles and travel goods are exempt from the import declaration requirements at least through September 2010. Further, AAFA requests that APHIS better define various aspects of the import declaration requirements to reduce confusion and uncertainty. (Nate Herman)
AAFA EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER SECTION 421 DECISION ON CHINESE TIRES
AAFA submitted comments October 30 to the Office of the US. Trade Representative (USTR) to express concerns about the US government's recent decision in the China Section 421 tire case. AAFA noted that the decision could spark not only a trade war between the United States and China, but could encourage other countries to possibly impose politically-motivated sanctions against certain imports from China. Both scenarios could seriously threaten US apparel and footwear brands as they try to sell their products in China and other fast-growing markets around the world. (Nate Herman)
AAFA URGES QUICK CONGRESSIONAL RENEWAL OF ANDEAN TRADE PREFERENCES
AAFA joined a group of businesses and trade associations in sending a letter October 27 urging Congress to immediately renew the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) before it expires at the end of the year. The letter notes that the continual expirations of ATPA have caused immense uncertainty that has significantly damaged two-way apparel and textile trade between the Andean region and the United States. (Nate Herman)
WTO RELEASES 2008 GLOBAL TRADE STATISTICS
The World Trade Organization on October 28 published the 2009 edition of its International Trade Statistics publication. The publication contains detailed, searchable data on global trade through 2008. (Nate Herman)
OUTDOOR GEAR JOINS THE AAFA
Outdoor Gear is a manufacturer and distributor of high quality ski, snowboard and outdoor winter apparel. Outdoor Gear's brand portfolio includes: AFRC, Rawik, Boulder Gear, and Snow Dragons. (Maureen Storch)
FEDEX® SHIPPING AT OFFICEMAX
Looking for somewhere nearer to work or home to drop off your FedEx Express® or FedEx Ground® packages? Now there's another option. More than 900 U.S. OfficeMax locations are accepting drop-off packages from FedEx customers. To find an OfficeMax location, visit the OfficeMax Store Locator. You may also drop off your packages at more than 50,000 FedEx Office, FedEx Authorized ShipCenter®, FedEx World Service Center® and FedEx Express® Drop Box locations. As an AAFA member, you can enjoy discounts on your FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipping by joining the AAFA Freight Savings Plan. Enrollment is free and there are no minimum shipping quotas. For more information, call service providers Siriani & Associates at 800.554.0005 or e-mail email@example.com. 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.
TITAS --Taipei Innovative Textile Application Show--One-Stop Shopping Center for Fashion, Function and Eco Textiles. (October 14-16, 2009) More
TWO TEN CELEBRATES 70 YEARS – FOUNDATION'S ANNUAL DINNER TO BRING OUT THE BIGGEST NAMES IN FOOTWEAR
Two Ten Footwear Foundation will host its Annual Dinner on December 2, where leaders, friends and competitors within the footwear industry will gather to give back and honor those who have made an impact on the shoe community. This year marks Two Ten’s 70th anniversary and its first lifetime achievement award, which will be awarded to Bob Campbell of BBC International during dinner at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. This year’s Two Ten Annual Dinner Committee, chaired by Tim Adams, Chief Private Brand Officer of Macy’s, Inc., has set a fundraising goal of over $1 million in support of Two Ten’s programs and services. The night will bring out an estimated 900 guests consisting of representatives from BBC International, Brown Shoe Company, Inc., H.H. Brown Shoe Co., Inc., Steve Madden, Ltd., Jimlar and Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. among several others. The dinner will be run from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm and kicks off with a cocktail hour followed by a formal reception and dinner. Sponsorships and dinner seats are available for purchase through the Two Ten Web site at www.twoten.org or by contacting Lisa Mara at firstname.lastname@example.org / 781-736-1528. AAFA President & CEO Kevin Burke hopes to see you at the dinner.
AAFA HOLDS SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT SAFETY SEMINAR IN NEW YORK FEATURING CPSC COMMISSIONER ADLER
AAFA held a successful product safety seminar titled Moving Beyond the CPSIA: Federal & State Regulations, Risk Management & Retail Compliance on October 29 in New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Over 160 people attended the seminar, which featured as keynote speaker Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Commissioner Robert Adler as well as other notable product safety experts and industry leaders who shared their thoughts and experiences about national and state-level product safety regulations and how to best comply. Commissioner Adler sympathized with industry's difficulty in implementing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and assured the audience that the CPSC is doing everything it can to mitigate some of the costs and headaches implementation has created - particularly with regards to component testing. However, he cautioned that the legislation's strict language has made excluding child-safe materials and other components from the CPSIA's lead standard nearly impossible. Other speakers, like Michael Green from the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), outlined the challenges California Proposition 65 presents to industry. Other speakers discussed state legislation, supply chain management and retailer/brand standards. AAFA would like to thank the seminar's sponsors: Baker & McKenzie, Greenberg Traurig, New Generation Computing, SGS Consumer Testing Services and TUV SUD America. (Rebecca Mond)
CIT Files for Fifth Largest U.S. Bankruptcy
from CNN Money
CIT Group Inc., one of the nation's leading funders of small and medium-sized businesses, filed for the fifth largest bankruptcy by assets in U.S. history Sunday as part of a reorganization plan that has the support of an overwhelming majority of debtholders.
Why India's Garment Factories are Unreliable for New Workers
from The Wall Street Journal
In recent years, India has sewn its way toward a more reliable income for nearly 35 million garment industry workers. Agricultural laborers left the fields to work in factories that sprouted up as the economy gained steam. But as demand for exports has dropped amid the global financial crisis, hundreds of thousands of Indian garment workers have found their new line of work is on shaky ground.
Climate Delegates Call on U.S. for Robust Policy
from The Washington Post
The United States has come under increased pressure to come up with a plan for fighting climate change and to offer an internationally acceptable policy for curbing pollution hastening global warming.
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Burden of Safety Law Imperils Small Handicrafters
from The New York Times
For 35 years, William John Woods has made wooden toys for children. Each one of the 2,000 or so he makes each year passes through his hands at his shop in Ogunquit, Maine, and no child, he said, has ever been hurt by one of his small boats, cars, helicopters or rattles.
U.S. Trade Representative Kirk Set Speech on Long-Delayed Korean Pact
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will outline the Obama administration's review of a long-delayed free trade agreement with South Korea in a speech next week, a U.S. business group said.
The Next Leap Forward
from The Globe and Mail
After 60 years of isolation, China is emerging as a savvy global business player. Western CEOs, consider yourselves warned.
Honduran President Might Find Path to Power Despite K Street Campaign
from The Hill
A Washington lobbying campaign to keep ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya out of power may have come up short. In an agreement Friday between Zelaya and the interim government in Honduras, both sides agreed to allow the president to serve the remaining three months of his term if the country’s Congress decides to reinstate him.
U.S. Imposes Duties on Bags from Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan
from Plastics News
The U.S Commerce Department has imposed anti-dumping duties ranging from just under 29 percent to just under 96 percent on imports of plastic shopping bags from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
AAFA Events & Educational Programs
November 4, 2009
Intimate Apparel Council Program
Union League Club, New York City
November 4-6, 2009
Product Innovation Council Meeting & QVC Tour
Philadelphia Marriott West, West Conshohocken, PA
November 12, 2009
Financial Management Committee Meeting
Phillips Nizer, New York City
November 12 and 18, 2009
Int’l. Product Safety Seminars
New Delhi, India
November 18-24, 2009
IAF World Apparel Convention & Optional Study Tour
New Delhi, India
December 2-3, 2009
Affordable Footwear Act Lobby Days
December 7, 2009
Government Relations Committee Meeting
December 8, 2009
Product Safety Supply Chain Seminar & Exhibition
Complete schedule of events
AAFA Member Partners & Programs
By AAFA partner,
Boxwood Technology, Inc.
Employer and employee
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 discount technical testing
RFID Savings Program
By AAFA partner, Avery Dennison
Negotiated below-market priced labels
By new AAFA partners,
Innov-x and Thermo Scientific.
Identification and quantification of toxic metals in products.
7701 Las Colinas Blvd., Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063
American Apparel & Footwear Association
1601 N. Kent St., Ste. 1200, Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: 703-524-1864 Fax: 703-522-6741 www.apparelandfootwear.org