Fashion Intel & Analysis
As you know there has been a lot of opposition to the Trump Administration’s decision to remove India and Turkey from eligibility for duty-free benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The Coalition for GSP just released a comprehensive report that analyzes the negative impact on the U.S. economy and on jobs if GSP is taken away. The 22-page report includes economic analysis as well as company profiles about a range of companies that rely on the GSP program. Among the companies in the report are two consumer product companies using GSP for imports from India -- Randa, which imports accessories such as belts and wallets, and dZi Handmade, which imports jewelry and other artisan products. If you are affected by the possible loss of GSP, it is not too late to contact your Members of Congress. Let USFIA know and we can help you send that message.
Yesterday, Mexico’s Senate approved the labor reforms included with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a pre-condition to finalize the agreement. The changes give Mexican workers the right to vote on unions and labor contracts through secret ballot. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a statement commending the passage of labor reforms in Mexico noting “these reforms will greatly improve Mexico’s system of labor justice and are exactly what labor leaders in the United States and Mexico have sought for decades.” Lighthizer also says the Trump Administration will work closely with Congress and the Mexican government to ensure the reforms are implemented and enforced.
Following the passage, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged U.S. lawmakers to ratify the new agreement. “Now it is up to the U.S. government, the U.S. legislators, to finish approving the free trade agreement. We are fulfilling our obligations and we want that free trade agreement with the United States,” Lopez Obrador said in his daily morning press conference today.
While it is very early in the 2020 presidential campaign, this week Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released information about his priorities, including his views on trade. In an interview on CNN, Sanders contrasted his record on trade with the positions taken by his main rival, today at least, for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden. “I helped lead the fight against NAFTA; he voted for NAFTA,” Sanders began. “I helped lead the fight against permanent normal trade relations with China; he voted for it. I strongly opposed the Trans-pacific Partnership; he supported it,” Sanders continued.
On Monday, Sanders also released a statement calling on President Trump and all presidential candidates to “publicly support a new trade policy agenda that protects domestic jobs and guarantees living wages for American workers.” As part of that Sanders is calling on all 2020 candidates to support “a commitment to renegotiate all of our unfair trade deals to prevent the outsourcing of American jobs and raise wages.” Sanders details more of his trade priorities on his campaign website.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released over 40 webinar recordings hosted by the National Import Specialist Division in 2018 on various commodities topics including training sessions on textile and apparel products such as blouses, sweaters, gloves, and more. Click here to access the webinar recordings.
The counterfeit apparel market continues to move quick and create challenges for the fashion industry. Since MLB opening day in late March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seized 314 counterfeit Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies jerseys at a local port. The shipments arrived from Hong Kong and were addressed to destinations throughout the East Coast. If authentic, the jerseys would be valued at $44,040. Harper’s Phillies jersey has been the highest selling in the league since his signing in late February.