Global Trade

  • USFIA Co-Authors Op-Ed In Support of TTIP

    On July 13, 2015, USFIA President Julie Hughes joined with Christian Ewert, Director General of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in Brussels, in support of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP). This week marks the 10th round of transatlantic trade talks, but the first since Congress approved trade promotion authority (TPA). The op-ed seeks to clarify some of the myths surrounding the TTIP, including the "urgent" status of the negotiations, claims by the opposition that the TTIP will undermine democracy, and the opposition’s claim to speak for all citizens. We argue that "It is our belief that an objective analysis of TTIP will find that this agreement will generate enormous benefits for the EU and US as well as for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic." Read the full op-ed online here.   

  • USFIA Comments on Trade Deficits

    On May 10, 2017, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to the Department’s request for comments as the Administration prepares an Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits (82 Federal Register 18110). Our comments make it clear that apparel trade with the 13 countries named in the Department’s Federal Register notice, while adding to the trade deficit, does nothing to weaken America’s economy and defense industrial base and, in fact, bolsters high quality employment in the United States. (The 13 countries are: Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.) USFIA’s comments are available here.

  • USFIA Counsel Calls for Meaningful TPP Agreement

    USFIA’s Washington Counsel David Spooner, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP and chief textile and apparel trade negotiator from 2002-2006, published an op-ed in WWD titled, “TPP Is A Good Thing and It’s About Time.” He states,

    The TPP would eliminate tariffs and dramatically lower nontariff barriers between the U.S. and 12 Pacific Rim nations — from Japan, Vietnam and Australia in Asia, to Mexico and Canada closer to home. These countries account for a whopping 39 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. 

    Yet, he adds, there is still a lot of work to do, especially for our industry:

    As things stand, the provisions are so restrictive that, in the short term, knowledgeable brands and retailers are skeptical they will be of much benefit. Often, the TPP will require apparel producers to ship yarns and fabrics from the U.S. to places like Vietnam. Most alarmingly, the TPP’s apparel provisions may lack an amendment provision which would permit future governments to adapt the agreement to changing circumstances. The negotiations are not over, and there is still time to craft commercially meaningful apparel provisions. 

    The full op-ed is available on the WWD website.

  • USFIA Discusses How to Grow American Jobs With the U.S. Global Value Chain

    This week, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and other industry groups and companies, including several members, have been lobbying on Capitol Hill with the U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition. We joined other apparel and retail groups in an op-ed published in Morning Consult yesterday as the Hill meetings kicked off.

  • USFIA Files Comments in Response to Tariff Threat Over France’s Digital Services Tax

    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) opposing retaliatory tariffs of up to 100 percent on products of France, including handbags and tableware, over France’s Digital Services Tax. 

    The comments explain that the U.S.-EU trade relationship is important to retail operations and for sourcing and that tariffs will only harm American fashion brands and retailers, as well as consumers. “Retailers and brands are concerned about the future expansion of digital tax regimes and we strongly support an international solution that will restrict the ability of individual countries to impose new restrictions. However, we believe that a solution to the tax policy issues is the best strategy, and one that likely would be more successful than relying on the retaliation through higher penalty tariffs that will have an obvious negative impact on the US fashion industry.” The full comments are available here

  • USFIA Files Comments on GSP Hearing

    On November 1, 2016, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on the hearing on the Initiation of the 2016 and 2017 Annual Generalized System of Preferences Product and Country Practices Review. USFIA expressed support for “expanding the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits to grant eligibility for all beneficiary countries to supply travel goods–items like luggage, backpacks, purses, and wallets.” However, we urged “the Administration to also designate the remaining GSP beneficiary countries as eligible to export all statutorily eligible travel goods into the U.S. market under the GSP,” and consider the testimony of brands and retailers who “shared their perspective about how expanded GSP benefits would be a benefit for American consumers as well as for manufacturers in developing countries.” USFIA’s comments are available here.

  • USFIA Files Comments on U.S.-Japan Negotiating Objectives

    The Trump Administration has announced that it will initiate trade negotiations with Japan. On November 26, 2018, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed comments on the negotiating objectives for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The comments strongly support the negotiation of the agreement, noting the importance of Japan both for fashion retail as well as high-end fabrics, and urges the elimination of the high tariffs and other non-tariff barriers to trade with this critical market. The comments include messaging from earlier Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comments about global value chains and the need for cutting-edge rules of origin. We will request to testify at the hearing, as well.

  • USFIA Files Comments on U.S.-UK Trade Negotiating Objectives

    This week, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed comments on the U.S.-United Kingdom trade negotiating objectives. We discuss the importance of this trade relationship for retail as well as opportunities to eliminate tariffs and streamline regulations. The comments are available here.

  • USFIA Files Post-Hearing Comments on 301 Tariffs

    On May 22nd, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed post-hearing rebuttal comments in support of omitting fashion and apparel products from the proposed list of products subject to increased duties under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Our comments provide more information on industry sourcing trends and how sourcing in China and Asia supports jobs in the United States. The comments are available here.

    We also joined comments signed by 52 associations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders expressing concerns about the use of tariffs to address China’s unfair trading practices. The comments are available here.

    The U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition (USGVC) also filed comments, available here.

    Finally, more than 50 fashion brands and retailers, including many USFIA members, filed comments, as well, available here.

  • USFIA Files Post-Hearing Comments on Third List of China 301 Tariffs

    Following the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s hearing in August on the third proposed list of $200 billion in tariffs, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed comments urging the Administration to remove certain apparel products and consumer goods from the list.

    “The Administration has proposed tariffs on many items manufactured and sold by USFIA members, which will have a direct impact on American consumers, especially during the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons,” we said. “Of particular concern to USFIA’s member companies and consumers are the proposed tariffs on hats and headwear in HTSUS Chapter 65; luggage and handbags in Chapters 42 and 46; leather and faux leather apparel and products in Chapter 42; and lamps and furniture in Chapter 94. Our members also have concerns about the proposed tariffs on cookware in Chapter 73; picture frames in Chapter 83; plastic articles including rainwear and hangers in Chapter 39; certain electrical equipment including vacuum cleaners and television sets in Chapter 85; paper products in Chapter 48; articles of wood including jewelry boxes in Chapter 44; aluminum products including sanitary ware in Chapter 76; feathers used for stuffing and down in Chapter 5; textile products including felt and nonwovens and certain yarns in Chapter 56; and specialty textile products including embroidery in Chapter 58.”

    The comments explain how the tariffs will harm consumers and jobs in the United States, while doing nothing to solve the IPR challenges with China; furthermore, the tariffs will actually discourage sourcing and manufacturing within the United States. The comments are available here.

    In addition, USFIA joined multi-industry comments from a coalition of more than 150 trade associations representing U.S. retailers, manufacturers, farmers, technology companies, natural gas and oil companies and other industries. “Our organizations agree that longstanding issues in China have negatively impacted many U.S. companies, and we support the administration’s efforts to negotiate meaningful, binding and long-term solutions with the Chinese government, (but) applying these high levels of tariffs on Chinese products will continue to miss the mark,” we said.

    USFIA joined additional comments from apparel, soft-goods, and retail associations, as well, available here.

  • USFIA Files Post-Hearing Comments on USMCA

    USFIA President Julia K. Hughes testified at the recent U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). On November 23, 2018, we filed post-hearing comments to answer some of the panel’s questions on topics including the impact of chapter notes on U.S. brands and retailers, rule of origin regional content requirements, and more. The comments are available here.

  • USFIA Files Pre-Hearing Comments on U.S.-EU Trade Agreement

    On December 10, 2018, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) filed pre-hearing comments on the probably economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for certain currently dutiable imports under the potential U.S.-EU Trade Agreement. The comments were filed in advance of the U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on December 18, 2018. The comments are available here.

    We also joined comments by the U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition, available here.

  • USFIA Hosts Lobby Day on Capitol Hill

    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) hosted our lobby day in Washington, D.C. Several USFIA member companies went to Capitol Hill to meet with their U.S. Representatives’ office to discuss how trade and their global value chains create jobs in the United States. The day concluded with a reception hosted by Barnes & Thornburg LLP and GEODIS USA on our rooftop overlooking the White House, with more than 100 government officials, media, and other D.C. fashion insiders in attendance.

  • USFIA Joins 100+ Trade Groups on Letter on 301 Tariffs

    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined more than 100 trade associations in a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee expressing concern about the Section 301 tariffs. The letter is available here, and the Wall Street Journal reported on the letter here. The committee is holding a hearing on the tariffs today; we’ll provide any relevant updates to members after the hearing.

  • USFIA Joins Coalition for GSP Letter

    On February 23, 2015, the Coalition for GSP, which includes the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) among the 628 members, sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee leadership urging immediate and retroactive renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The letter notes that companies have paid more than $1 billion in duties since the program expired on July 31, 2013. The letter is available on the Coalition for GSP website. If GSP is important to your company, we urge you to join the coalition.

  • USFIA Joins Coalition Letter in Support of Bipartisan TPA

    On January 14, 2014, the United States Fashion Industry Association joined the Trade Benefits America Coalition letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) thanking them for their work in introducing bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation and urging quick movement. The full letter is available here.

  • USFIA Joins Coalition Letter on Investment in TPP

    On February 20th, the United States Fashion Industry Association joined the U.S. Business Coalition for the TPP letter urging a high-standard, comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that specifically eliminates “tariffs, as well as non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services and investment.” The letter is available here.

  • USFIA Joins Coalition Letter on TPA

    On January 14, 2015, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined the Trade Benefits America Coalition letter to the House and Senate Leadership urging passage of bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation early this year. “TPA is particularly important now, given ongoing efforts to close the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the Administration’s goal of then seeking its Congressional approval this year. TPA is also critical to advancing the broader U.S. trade agenda, including the ongoing talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement, and an agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods. These initiatives hold tremendous potential to open new markets for U.S. companies, farmers and workers and support growth and jobs. With 95 percent of potential customers outside the United States and more than one in five American jobs supported by trade, we need to seize the opportunities they present,” the letter states. The letter is available here

  • USFIA Joins Coalition Letter Urging Renewal of GSP

    The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) expired on December 31, 2017. USFIA joined a multi-industry coalition letter to the House and Senate leadership urging retroactive renewal as quickly as possible. The letter and more information on the coalition is available here.

  • USFIA Joins Coalition Letters to Senate & House in Support of TPA

    On April 21, 2015, the U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined the Trade Benefits America coalition letters in support of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The letters were sent to the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee in advance of the markup of TPA and other trade bills.

    The Senate letter is available here

    The House letter is available here.