The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade.
USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow. Through our publications, educational events, and networking opportunities, USFIA also connects with key stakeholders across the value chain including U.S. and international service providers, suppliers, and industry groups.
USFIA's Premier Partner
We are pleased to announce the USFIA Premier Partner for 2018: PwC. For the fourth year in a row, PwC will help us deliver timely, critical information to global brands and retailers as well as develop innovative educational and networking events to advance the industry's goals. Click here to read more about the partnership and our activities.
USFIA's Additional Partners
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has two additional major partners for 2018: Sustainability Partner BSI and Customs Broker Partner GEODIS. Click here to read more about these partners and our activities.
Fashion Industry Event Calendar
- Trump Announces Retaliation Against China
- ILA & USMX Reach Tentative Agreement on 6-Year Contract
- Customs Overview for June 2018
- just-style: Clothing caught as EU and US tariff spat escalates
- VN Express: Footwear giants shift outsourcing from China to Vietnam
- Trump Administration Announces Additional Steel & Aluminum Tariffs, Prompting Retaliation by Major Trading Partners
- Inside U.S. Trade: Navarro: Mnuchin comment on China tariffs was ‘an unfortunate soundbite’
- USFIA Joins NAFTA Partners in Letter to Negotiators
- Update on NAFTA May 2018
- Trump Administration Announces 25% Tariffs on $50 Billion of Imports from China
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ILA & USMX Reach Tentative Agreement on 6-Year Contract
Yesterday, the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) announced that they reached a tentative agreement on a six-year master contract for East Coast and Gulf Coast dock workers. If approved by rank-and-file ILA members, the contract would be valid until 2024. The current contract expires September 30, 2018. The announcement is available here.
Former Textile Negotiator: Trump Effectively Declares Global Trade War
Former chief textile negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Don Johnson Jr. writes in an opinion editorial in The Hill this week, “Last week’s decision by the erratic Trump trade team to raise steel and aluminum tariffs amounts to declaring a trade war on effectively every major trading partner in the world market,” and an attack on the World Trade Organization. He continues,
Many trade lawyers do not think that the national security defense under Section 232 is justified under the facts of this case. They believe it would be difficult to defend successfully in a WTO case expected to be filed by the targets of this action. It may be that this is what the Trump trade team has in mind.
- U. S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer has historically urged an aggressive approach to interpreting WTO obligations. “An unthinking, simplistic and slavish dedication to the mantra of ‘WTO-consistency,” he has argued, “makes very little sense...Indeed, derogation may be the only way to force change in the system.”
Johnson, a former Member of Congress from Georgia’s 10th congressional district, served as the chief textile negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under President Bill Clinton.
The full editorial is available on The Hill website.
Dr. Sheng Lu Publishes New Analysis of EU Textile & Apparel Industry
Dr. Sheng Lu of the University of Delaware has published a new analysis of the European Union’s textile and apparel industry in just-style, writing, “Understanding these critical patterns is key to helping companies better explore the region’s huge sourcing and market access opportunities.” You can read his analysis here.
Trump Announces Retaliation Against China
Today President Trump announced retaliation against China due to the 301 case against forced technology transfer and other IPR violations. No apparel or clothing or other consumer products are on the list. The retaliatory duties of 25% will go into effect on July 6th.
The Administration also released a second list that will be reviewed if China retaliates. There are already press reports that China will retaliate, so we expect the process will continue. Thankfully, the second list does not include any apparel or consumer products.
We will share more information as available.
White House Releases Text of China IP Memo; Brady & Reichert Praise Announcement
Yesterday afternoon, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum directing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to investigate the alleged theft of American intellectual property by China. According to the White House Fact Sheet, “USTR will analyze issues raised by the Presidential Memorandum and consult with Government agencies and advisory committees to determine what action, if any, is appropriate. While there have been serious and consistent allegations of a problem with China and IP theft, President Trump is not prejudging the inquiry and USTR will decide whether to launch a formal investigation and, if so, whether action should be taken and what that action would be.” The full memo is now available on the White House website.
As a reminder, the Administration is not taking any immediate action against China. The investigation will delay decisions on trade remedy actions, like tariff increases, for up to a year. Still, if a Section 301 investigation is initiated after the initial investigation, it could lead to action both inside and outside the World Trade Organization.
Following the signing of the memo, the White House issued a press release with “praise” from thought-leaders and stakeholders, including corporations like Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin. Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) welcomed the announcement; Brady said, “I am pleased that President Trump has targeted China’s forced technology policies. These practices have unfairly forced American companies to surrender vital intellectual property to their Chinese competitors as the price for doing business. I look forward to working closely with the Administration to determine the appropriate steps for the United States to take so we can end a practice that has caused so much harm to our innovators.”
USFIA Joins NAFTA Partners in Letter to Negotiators
Today, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined industry organizations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in sending a letter to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade negotiators to reiterate support for Tariff Preference Levels (TPLs) and express concern over “onerous chapter notes” regarding pocketing, elastics strips, or sewing thread in the rule of origin. The letter is available here.
White House Trade Adviser Says “We Lost the Trade War Long Ago”
About two weeks ago, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump Administration was “putting the trade war on hold” during the negotiations with China. Of course, this week, the White House surprised everyone with an announcement of a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing “industrially significant technology,” as we reported. Today, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Mnuchin’s use of the phrase “trade war” was “an unfortunate soundbite,” and that “what we’re having with China is a trade dispute, plain and simple. They engage in a whole range of unfair trade practices.” He continued that “the president has said we lost the trade war long ago. President Obama, Bush, Clinton lost this when we got into bad trade deals like NAFTA. And when China got into the World Trade Organization in 2001, which President Clinton pushed, that’s been just devastating.” POLITICO has more on the back-and-forth between Trump Administration officials.
Trump Administration Announces Additional Steel & Aluminum Tariffs, Prompting Retaliation by Major Trading Partners
By now you’ve probably heard that the Trump Administration will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, which were previously exempt from the tariffs for two months. In a call this morning, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said, “We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved.” Notably, he said Section 232 gives President Trump the right to do “anything he wants," so the Administration can increase or decrease the duties at any time, and they can impose quotas, too.
The move was criticized by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who said in a statement, “These tariffs are hitting the wrong target. When it comes to unfairly traded steel and aluminum, Mexico, Canada, and Europe are not the problem—China is. This action puts American workers and families at risk, whose jobs depend on fairly traded products from these important trading partners. And it hurts our efforts to create good-paying U.S. jobs by selling more ‘Made in America’ products to customers in these countries.” He added, “I call on the Administration to continue the exemptions and negotiations with these important national security partners to find a solution and address the damage caused to American exporters. And the Administration will need to come to Capitol Hill to provide answers about the indiscriminate harm these tariffs are causing our local businesses.”
Mexico and the European Union have already announced that they will retaliate against the tariffs. “We will now trigger a dispute settlement case at the [World Trade Organization], since these U.S. measures clearly go against agreed international rules. We will also impose rebalancing measures and take any necessary steps to protect the EU market from trade diversion caused by these U.S. restrictions,” said European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström. Mexico’s Ministry of the Economy said in a statement that they will impose “equivalent measures,” on steel and agricultural products, according to reports. And Canada is reportedly looking for a “sweet spot” for retaliation, as well.
We will send more information on the tariffs and retaliation efforts as it becomes available.