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AAFA Welcomes New Member



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In this issue...
Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News
  • FTAs Are Moving...Or Not
  • National Export Strategy Released
  • CPSC Determination on 100 PPM Feasibility
  • Product Safety — 19 More California Proposition 65 Notices
  • Product Safety — CPSC Issues Flammability Recall on Women's Dresses
  • Product Safety — CPSC Issues Flammability Recall on Children's Sleepwear
  • Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 Introduced
  • House Passes Patent Legislation
  • Labor — House Committee on Education and the Workforce Holds Hearing on NLRB Proposed Rule Change
  • Federal Reserve Establishes New Limits on Debt Card Swipe Fees; Proposes Fraud Prevention Offsets
  • Uncle Sam Wants You...To Comment!
    Member News
  • AAFA Welcomes New Member: Diversified Marketing Group, Inc.
    In the Press
  • The Finer Art of Faking It
  • Trade Deals Sink Into Partisan Swamp
  • Panetta Sworn In As New Defense Secretary
  • Senator, Vet Inouye Warns Against Defense Cuts


  • Legislative, Trade & Regulatory News

    FTAS ARE MOVING . . . OR NOT
    The trade agenda lurched to life last week following an announcement by Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) to schedule a Committee business meeting to review three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia. Action on the three FTAs, which have stalled for years, had been blocked in recent months because of a dispute over how to fund an extension of a worker retraining program known as the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. The TAA, along with the Andean and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade programs, had expired earlier this year. Unfortunately, the Committee had to cancel the meeting because Senate Republicans objected to a decision to pair the TAA extension (which still remains controversial for many in the Republican Party), with the Korea FTA. A similar decision to pair the Colombia FTA with the retroactive renewal of the GSP and Andean trade programs did not draw any public objections. News of the Finance-scheduled action on trade also attracted activity in a number of other issues as Senators proposed a range of AAFA supported trade-related amendments such as the Affordable Footwear Act (AFA) and an extension of wool and cotton programs. Senators also took the opportunity to propose measures that would create additional trade barriers, such as measures that would declare currency a countervailable subsidy bills or that would impose additional customs or trade remedy burdens. While opposing any trade restrictive measures that have been proposed, AAFA continues to work with policy makers to identify a path forward that will permit timely consideration and approval of the trade liberalizing measures. (Steve Lamar)



    NATIONAL EXPORT STRATEGY RELEASED
    U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on June 28 released to Congress the 2011 National Export Strategy, an annual report of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) which is comprised of 20 federal agencies. The 2011 report assesses the performance of the US government in helping achieve the President's goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014. It also makes reference to, but does not provide any details for, the President's plan to reorganize the trade functions of the US Government to make them more efficient. The report urges the promotion of U.S. exports and focuses specifically on four major areas: (1) improved collaboration with states and border communities; (2) support of exports by U.S. companies selling technologies in high-growth areas; (3) better measurement and data collection of U.S. services sector exporting; and (4) removing barriers to trade, including through the passage of the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. AAFA has also supported a passage and implementation of these free trade agreements and enthusiastically supports initiatives to promote trade and eliminate trade barriers. (Marie D'Avignon)

    CPSC DETERMINATION ON 100 PPM FEASIBILITY
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), last week, released their determination on the technological feasibility of 100 ppm stating that: "Based upon this analysis, the staff could not recommend that the Commission make a determination that it is not technologically feasible for a product or product category to meet the 100 ppm lead content limit for children's products under section 101(d) of the CPSIA. No such determination has been made by the Commission. Therefore, all children's products sold, offered for sale, manufactured for sale, distributed in commerce, or imported for sale in the United States must meet the 100 ppm lead content limit beginning August 14, 2011 as statutorily mandated by the CPSIA unless otherwise excluded under 16 CFR 1500.87 through 1500.91." They followed up their notice with a hearing on feasibility on June 29 in which they explained their findings. They will have a decisional meeting on the matter on July 14 but it is recommended that all companies be prepared for the retroactive drop down to 100 ppm on August 14. (Michael McDonald)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — 19 MORE CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 NOTICES ISSUED
    Professional California Proposition 65 litigants Consumer Advocacy Group have issued 19 new "60-day" notices in the last three weeks, alleging that brands and retailers sold footwear (Notice 1), cosmetic and toiletries cases (Notice 1; Notice 2), jewelry (Notice 1), purses (Notice 1), fashion accessories (Notice 1 ; Notice 2; Notice 3; Notice 4; Notice 5; Notice 6; Notice 7; Notice 8; Notice 9; Notice 10; Notice 11; Notice 12; Notice 13), and luggage tags (Notice 1) in California that contained phthalates and lead in violation of California Proposition 65 (Prop 65). The 19 new notices brings this year's total to 259 cases involving apparel, footwear, travel goods and other fashion related accessories. The notices serve as intent to bring a lawsuit against the recipients alleging that the products sold in California contain certain chemicals in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65). Proposition 65 is a California law that requires "warning labels" on ALL products (not just children's products) sold in California that contain lead, phthalates, cadmium and any one of 850 other chemicals that the State of California believes could cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Prop 65 allows so-called "citizen enforcers" to enforce the law. NGOs, other groups and even private Californian citizens can sue in California courts and collect part of the fines. You may find these notices along with every fashion and fashion-accessory related notice for the past 3 years in the AAFA Prop 65 "60-Day Notice" running list. AAFA will continue to update this list on a regular basis to help catalog the effects of this damaging proposition on the apparel and footwear industry. (Michael McDonald)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — CPSC ISSUES FLAMMABILITY RECALL ON WOMEN'S DRESSES
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on June 28 announced the voluntary recall of Topson Downs of California's Bar III Brand Women's Dresses, which were manufactured in India and sold exclusively at Macy's stores nationwide. The dress was recalled due to the failure to meet the federal flammability standard for wearing apparel posing a fire hazard to consumers. The Bar III brand dress is fully lined with a sheer rayon outer layer. There is a white label with "Bar III" written in black on the inside back of the dress. The dress has a checkered, multi-colored, and black pattern called "Mint Chili Combo" and was sold in five adult sizes, ranging from extra small to extra large. No incidents or injuries have been reported. (Michael McDonald)

    PRODUCT SAFETY — CPSC ISSUES FLAMMABILITY RECALL ON CHILDREN'S SLEEPWEAR
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on June 30 announced the voluntary recall of Sage Creek Organics Children's Sleepwear, which was manufactured in India and sold at small boutiques nationwide. The sleepwear was recalled due to the garments failure to meet the federal flammability standards for children's sleepwear posing a risk of burn injury to children. The garments are being recalled because they do not meet the tight-fitting sizing requirements. The recalled sleepwear involves long sleeve boys' and girls' pajama sets that were part of the Enchanted Forest Collection, Forest Friends Collection or Golden Dragonfly Collection. The sets were sold in sizes 6 months to 4T in the following colors: cream and green; dark blue and light blue; and, pink and lilac. No incidents or injuries have been reported. (Michael McDonald)

    SAFE COSMETICS ACT OF 2011 INTRODUCED
    Last Friday, H.R.2359, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, was introduced in the House of Representatives. The legislation introduces new testing, labeling, and disclosure requirements on cosmetics manufactures. If passed the bill would require suppliers of chemicals to provide up to date safety test information to cosmetics manufacturers. The proposed legislation would also require suppliers of fragrances and flavors to disclose the chemical ingredients contained in their products. This has historically been considered trade secret and has not been disclosed. If passed this legislation would be the first change to the legislation concerning cosmetics since 1938. (Greg Yahr)

    HOUSE PASSES PATENT LEGISLATION
    Congress is close to sending legislation for President Obama's signature to overhaul America's patent system. Earlier this year, the Senate voted 95-5 to pass their version of the bill. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) by more than 300 votes. The House and Senate bills include updates that seek to allow manufacturers in the United States to bring their cutting-edge technological breakthroughs to the marketplace faster. The legislation also will eliminate the current costs and complexities that burden the patent system and place American ingenuity at a competitive disadvantage with other countries around the world. Leaders in both chambers will have to work out the differences between the two bills in a conference committee. It is unclear when the final bill may be presented to become law, but it is possible that the bill could move sometime before the August Recess. (Kurt Courtney)

    LABOR — HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE HOLDS HEARING ON NLRB PROPOSED RULE CHANGES
    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on June 21 published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding reforms to the current procedures related to the secret ballot elections that determine if an employee wishes to be represented by a labor union. The proposed procedures would eliminate the opportunity for parties to seek NLRB review of Regional Director rulings before the election and shortens the average time to election from 31 days (average in 2010) to 10-21 days. This rushed time frame prevents employers from being able to effectively communicate with their employees and hinders an employee's ability to make an informed decision. On Thursday, July 7, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing on this issue, titled: "Rushing Union Elections: Protecting the Interests of Big Labor at the Expense of Workers' Free Choice." In addition, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with fellow members Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) released a statement requesting that the NLRB delay their public hearing on the "quickie elections" currently scheduled for July 18 and allow for an extension of time to prepare testimony. Senators Enzi, Hatch and Isakson are also requesting an extension on the time NLRB has allowed for submitting written comments which is currently set to end on August 22. (Marie D'Avignon)

    FEDERAL RESERVE ESTABLISHES NEW LIMITS ON DEBT CARD SWIPE FEES; PROPOSES FRAUD PREVENTION OFFSETS
    On June 29, the Federal Reserve Board announced a 331-page final rule establishing limits for debt card interchange fees (often referred to as "swipe fees") pursuant to an AAFA-supported provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The final rule was announced following more than 11,000 comments and a last minute effort in the Senate by banks to delay the new limit. Under the final rule, the maximum permissible interchange fee that a bank may receive for an electronic debit transaction will be the sum of 21 cents per transaction and 5 basis points multiplied by the value of the transaction. While this result is better than the status quo it is not as beneficial as the 12 cent cap proposed in an earlier draft rule. This provision regarding debit card interchange fees is effective on October 1, 2011. The Board also approved an interim final rule that allows for an upward adjustment of no more than 1 cent to an issuer's debit card interchange fee if the issuer develops and implements certified policies and procedures reasonably designed to achieve the fraud-prevention standards set out in the interim final rule. If accepted, the fraud provision could combine with the final rule limit formula to result in an adjusted limit of as much as 24 cents per transaction. Comments on the interim final rule related to the fraud adjustment are due by September 30, 2011. (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: DIVERSIFIED MARKETING GROUP, INC.

    Diversified Marketing Group, Inc.
    David Goodman, President
    8225 Village Harbor Drive
    Cornelius, NC 28031
    Phone: 704.817.2900
    Email: david@dmgroup.org
    Website: www.dmgroup.org

    Diversified Marketing Group, Inc., formed in 1986, is a sales, marketing, product development and government contracts consulting firm dedicated to the military clothing, textiles and sewn equipment industries.



    In the Press

    The Finer Art of Faking It
    from The Wall Street Journal
    When one of the handles of Karineh Gurjian-Angelo's Yves Saint Laurent bag broke, she took the tote to a YSL boutique to have it fixed. Instead of repairing it, the sales associate told her it was fake. More

    Trade Deals Sink Into Partisan Swamp
    from Politico
    Partisan food fights this week took over international trade policy. Trade deals at the Senate Finance Committee, one of the last outposts of congressional bipartisanship, surrendered to the polarization that has swept into most other corners of Capitol Hill with the forced postponement of three of them. More

    Panetta Sworn In As New Defense Secretary
    from The Associated Press via Army Times
    On his first day as Pentagon chief, Leon Panetta said his top priorities are preserving U.S. military power despite budget cuts, defeating al-Qaida, stabilizing Afghanistan and forging a "real and lasting partnership" with Iraq. More

    Senator, Vet Inouye Warns Against Defense Cuts
    from Marine Times
    The powerful chairman of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee said Thursday that cutting federal spending will not be enough by itself to solve the nation's budget problems and warned against deep cuts in the defense budget. More
     


    AAFA Events & Educational Programs

    July 26-28, 2011
    RFID Item Level Tagging Workshop & Study Tour
    HongKong/Guandong, China

    July 28, 2011
    AAFA Government Relations Committee Meeting
    Washington, DC

    Aug. 3, 2011
    Intimate Apparel Council Meeting
    New York, NY

    Aug. 5, 2011
    West Coast AAFA/Intertek Footwear Technical Road Show
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Aug. 21-24, 2011
    Sourcing in the Americas Summit
    Las Vegas, NV

    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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