Fashion Intel & Analysis

Today, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the president pro tempore of the Senate, signed the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA), sending the trade legislation to President Trump to sign. USMCA passed the U.S. Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, Mexico has already approved the agreement, and Canada is expected to act soon. USFIA wants to make sure members are prepared as USMCA enters into force. USFIA will be hosting a webinar with Associate Member Akin Gump on February 12th to discuss the timeline for implementation and what the agreement means for fashion brands and retailers. Click here to register. 

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Grace Farms Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a partnership to advance the mission of combating forced labor around the world. “The goal will be to improve criminal investigations and communication networks that can lead to successful prosecutions of perpetrators engaged in labor trafficking,” according to the agency’s press release. “The HSI partnership with Grace Farms Foundation provides critical new opportunities to assist law enforcement as they develop new approaches and strategies to combat forced labor. Collaboration between HSI and Grace Farms Foundation allows experts to work with law enforcement and share data, knowledge and research that will improve transparency and access to justice for victims,” the announcement continued. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of members to the Cotton Board, including several USFIA members. Jessica Pagano of MGF Sourcing, Michelle Tarry of American Eagle Outfitters, USFIA Chairman from 2002 – 2005 Peter McGrath, Laurie Rando of Macy’s Merchandising Group, Emily Gigot of SanMar Corporation, and Melissa Bryant of Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. were appointed to serve three-year terms. The full list of appointees is available on the USDA website

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released an E-Commerce Guide to help online sellers comply with basic import requirements so that shipments are less likely to be detained by CBP and more likely to be cleared. The E-commerce Elements of Compliance include product description, value, quantity, gross weight, country of origin, and other government agency requirements. The full Compliance Guide can be found here

Today, the Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s implementing bill by a substantial margin, 89-10. USMCA will now be sent to President Trump to be signed into law. 

The agreement will enter into force once all three countries have approved the pact. Mexico has already approved the agreement.  Canada is expected to act soon, but most likely the Canadian Parliament will approve the agreement in February.  (The Parliament will be in session starting on January 27th.)  

The official start date for USMCA will be three months after the agreement is approved by all three countries, so the earliest date is likely to be May 1st.