Member News

From OFF THE CUFF August/September 2011 Issue

No, we didn’t do card tricks—although USA-ITA Director of Communications Samantha did meet David Copperfield earlier in the week. We’re talking about MAGIC, the largest apparel, footwear, and accessories trade show in the United States, held every February and August in Sin City. From August 21-24, USA-ITA hosted seminars and a booth during SOURCING at MAGIC, North America’s largest sourcing event highlighting the entire apparel, accessories, and footwear supply chain and sourcing knowledge and opportunities across the globe.

This year, the focus of the sourcing exhibition was the Americas Pavilion, featuring over 70 exhibitors from North, Central, and South America, ranging from CAFTA-DR producers to U.S. companies like USA-ITA member Buhler Quality Yarns.  The Americas Pavilion was made possible by the hard work of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) and a number of textile and apparel associations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Under Secretary Sanchez cuts the ribbon at SOURCING at MAGIC.

Under Secretary Sánchez and MAGIC's Chris DeMoulin cut the ribbon at SOURCING at MAGIC

The highlight of SOURCING at MAGIC was “The New Western Hemisphere Supply Chain—Way Beyond the Basics” Sourcing Summit on Sunday, August 21, featuring Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. This invitation-only seminar featured stories from regional producers as well as brands already sourcing in the region, including USA-ITA members Ken Mangone, Executive Vice President at JCPenney and USA-ITA Board of Directors member; Matt del Vecchio, Vice President at Abercrombie & Fitch; and, David Sasso, Vice President at Buhler Quality Yarns. Approximately 200 sourcing and manufacturing executives in the region attended the seminar, followed by a lively reception in the Americas Pavilion celebrating a job well done.

Avon's Gary Ross and Another Attendee at the Sourcing in the Americas Reception

Avon's Gary Ross, USA-ITA board member and a speaker at the NEI seminar, with Don Hire of Crowley Logistics at the reception

On Monday, August 22, USA-ITA President Julie Hughes moderated an open discussion for all MAGIC attendees, featuring Under Secretary Sánchez, who started the discussion by emphasizing the benefits to sourcing in the Western Hemisphere, including the boost to the U.S. economy and the faster speed-to-market.  He was followed by regional brands and manufacturers spoke on their experiences, including USA-ITA Board of Directors member Gary Ross, Vice President at Avon Products Inc., who gave a lively presentation about Avon’s experience with sourcing in the Americas. [You can download his presentation here.]  The other speakers included Jim Hopkins, Vice President at Hamrick Mills in South Carolina [DOWNLOAD]; Randy Price, Vice President at VF Corporation [DOWNLOAD]; and Marty Moran, CEO of RadiciSpandex Corporation [DOWNLOAD].  After the panel discussion, Under Secretary Sánchez joined Julie Hughes, MAGIC International President Chris DeMoulin, and Unifi President Roger Berrier Jr. for a media roundtable with reporters from the Los Angeles Times and California Apparel News.[Check out MAGIC press at California Apparel News and] 

MAGIC NEI Seminar feat. Julie Hughes

USA-ITA President Julie Hughes moderates the seminar titled, "NEI and Sourcing in the Americas."

Finally, the Sourcing in the Americas Summit closed with a sourcing issues forum, an invitation-only discussion between Administration officials and regional manufacturers. Gail Strickler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles, and Kim Glas, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Textiles and Apparel, joined regional associations in talking through the issues. [You may recall that Ms. Strickler and Ms. Glas spoke at our July 20 seminar in New York City and you can find their presentation here.]

In all, the Sourcing in the Americas Summit was a huge success—and both the Administration officials and the regional brands and manufacturers agreed that it was an exciting “meeting of the minds” that will hopefully lead to greater opportunities for everyone in the Western Hemisphere.

Check out our Flickr photostream for more photos from MAGIC!

off the cuff - USA-ITA's Member Newsletter

  May 17, 2011
Volume 2, Issue 5

In this issue...


2011 USA-ITA Member Survey Results and Analysis

In April, we sent a survey to all members that asked questions about your satisfaction, the importance of specific member benefits, and the importance of specific issues. Overall, we are pleased with the results and proud to report that 85 percent of members are satisfied or better with membership.

In 2010, our survey focused on USA-ITA operations as we had just moved from New York to Washington, but this year, we focused on the issues and activities that interest you and your company.


It’s clear that members are overwhelmingly concerned about duty-free benefits, followed by cotton prices and other sourcing issues, then customs and regulatory issues:

Duty-Free Benefits

  • Duty-Free Benefits for Cambodia and Bangladesh (68.3%)
  • Legislation to Reduce or Eliminate Duties on Footwear and Clothing (63.4%)
  • Implementation of CAFTA “Technical Fixes” (39.0%)

Cotton and Other Sourcing Issues

  • Cotton Issues – Prices and Availability (53.7%)
  • Sourcing Initiatives (51.2%)
  • Uzbekistan Cotton Ban (14.6%)

Customs and Other Regulatory Issues

  • CPSIA implementation (53.7%)
  • QIZ issues (34.1%)
  • Customs Reauthorization (34.1%)

When asked about the most important issue, the majority said duty-free benefits—including CAFTA technical fixes, duty-free benefits for Cambodia and Bangladesh, and the Philippine SAVE Act—followed by sourcing initiatives/cotton issues and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.


Many respondents said they want us to hold more events, especially in New York City, as well as webinars. We have made it a goal to hold more events focusing on the issues important to you, starting with our July 20 symposium, U.S. Trade Policy: What’s New and What’s Next at the New York Athletic Club.

Analysis and Implementation

We are closely analyzing the results to find ways to improve our operations and activities. In addition to holding more events, we also plan to expand our communications activities so all members can be aware of everything we are involved in, as well as grow our web presence. We look forward to implementing these improvements over the next year!

Welcome New Members Expolanka Freight Ltd. and WRAP!

We would like to warmly welcome two new members to USA-ITA—Expolanka Freight Ltd. and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), who have both joined as Associate Members.

Expolanka Freight Ltd.
Contact: Dennis Rosenfeld
Telephone: 516-568-4932
l: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production)
Contact:  Steven Jesseph
Telephone: 703-243-0970
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to your involvement in USA-ITA, and we hope all members will extend them a warm welcome!

In Case You Missed It: Peru Moda

In April, Julie Hughes attended Peru Moda, one of the largest textile and apparel trade shows in the world, and gave a presentation on trends in U.S. textile and apparel industry imports. If you missed her presentation, you can download it here.

Meet USA-ITA's New Director of Communications

USA-ITA welcomes Samantha Sault as our new Director of Communications. Samantha most recently worked in public affairs communications, where she managed public relations and digital communications plans for corporate and non-profit clients. She previously worked in journalism, at the Hoover Institution’s Policy Review and then as a deputy online editor at The Weekly Standard, where she covered the intersection of fashion and politics, and has reported on New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, and the DC and global fashion industries as a freelance writer and blogger.

Samantha looks forward to continuing and enhancing USA-ITA’s communications program! If you have any suggestions for the communications program or simply want to say hello, please feel free to contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-419-0474.


You're Invited...

USA-ITA is hosting two upcoming events that may be of interest to you and your company.

U.S. Trade Policy Symposium, July 20

You asked for more events, and you'll get them! On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, join USA-ITA for U.S. Trade Policy: What's New and What's Next, a symposium for textile and apparel brands, retailers, and importers. This one-day event will be held at the New York Athletic Club in Midtown Manhattan and will feature key officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce Office for Textiles and Apparel, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as other industry experts who will speak about the latest news in customs and trade policy. Please mark your calendars now, and we’ll send more information soon.

If you know you’ll need overnight accommodations in New York, rooms are available at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, one block from the symposium location, for $239 + taxes/fees. Contact Nancy Herbert at 212-714-2540 and tell her you’re reserving a room for the USA-ITA event.

Sourcing in the Americas Summit, August 21-24

Sourcing at MAGIC is returning to Las Vegas in August, and USA-ITA is co-sponsoring the Sourcing in the Americas Summit from August 21-24! With rising costs in China, soaring raw material prices worldwide, and the need to keep inventory low, sourcing executives are taking a fresh look at the Western Hemisphere supply chain. The Sourcing in the Americas Summit will promote business and investment in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Andean nations in an effort to combat these issues.

The Summit will kick off with the invitation-only  panel discussion, “The New Western Hemisphere Supply Chain—Way Beyond the Basics” on August 21, which will feature Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary for the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The four-day summit will also include additional seminars and the opportunity to network with members of the U.S. and international textile and apparel industries.

Click here for more information, and please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to attend.

Cotton Board Research and Promotion Survey

The Cotton Board is conducting a brief survey to measure opinion about various issues affecting the cotton industry. If your company imports cotton products, you are invited to take the survey and let your voice be heard about your awareness of and satisfaction with Cotton Incorporated and your cotton importing preferences. Click here to take the survey. Your responses will be used confidentially by The Cotton Board and only in combination with those of other survey participants.



Find us on LinkedIn

New Membership Brochure

USA-ITA has created a new membership brochure for you to share with industry colleagues. If you know someone who might be interested in USA-ITA membership, please send them the link!

USA-ITA Membership Information

Recent Emails

You know USA-ITA sends a lot of important information by email, but did you know these emails are archived on our website for members only? You can find archives of Textile Development Memos, Customs Overviews, and OFF THE CUFF. If you forgot your username or password, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Past Event Recordings

To order a copy, click on the event name.

Duty Savings Through Tariff Engineering

Taking A New Look At Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs)

First Sale - Where We've Been And Where We're Going

Managing Your Third Party Risks Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Customs Penalties – Recent Developments

The Global Supply and Demand Situation for Cotton: Implications for Prices Today and Tomorrow

Ocean Freight Discounts with AISA

USA-ITA members may contact the American Import Shippers Association (AISA) to discuss discounted ocean freight charges and ocean carrier options that AISA offers. Please click here, fill out the questionnaire, and AISA will be in contact to discuss rate details. (There is no membership fee for USA-ITA members).

off the cuff - USA-ITA's Member Newsletter
november 23, 2010 view this email online volume 1, issue 8

In this issue:


Annual Conference Wrap-Up


On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, more than 300 people came out for the 22nd Annual Textile & Apparel Importer Trade & Transportation Conference held at Bidgewaters South Street Seaport in New York. Hosted by AISA and USA-ITA, this annual event was full of riveting information from many different perspectives within the apparel importing and transportation community. Opening the day were keynote presentations from both perspectives, and it was closed by Customs and Border Protection's Janet Labuda's final presentation before her retirement. Below is a brief recap of the event. If you were there, thank you for attending! If not, we look forward to having you join us next year! Conference presentations are posted on our website, along with a slideshow of photos from the event.


Janet Fox, Senior Vice President and Director of Sourcing, JC Penney & USA-ITA Chairman

During her Chairman's Address, Ms. Fox expressed her growing concerns over raw material prices, rising labor costs in China, the pending China currency legislation, and the turmoil in Pakistan. She contrasted those concerns with those of the previous year, which revolved around freight rates and recession woes. Looking ahead, Ms. Fox said she was excited about the new Congress, and about the potential movement next year on pending trade legislation. She reaffirmed USA-ITA's commitment to work closely with the Obama Administration and with Congress to ensure the passage of FTAs.


Ron Widdows, Group President and CEO, NOL Group
Transportation Keynote

Like Ms. Fox, Mr. Widdows focused on some of the changes from 2009 into 2010, including a faster-than-expected recovery for shippers, and capacity issues that led to serious problems between shippers and carriers. While most of those have been resolved, Mr. Widdows was very clear that the proposed Shipping Act of 2010 is not the answer. Instead, he advocated for taking another look at current antitrust laws and having open discussions with all parties at the table. Mr. Widdows also argued against protectionism, making the point that the country will need to increase imports in order to increase exports. He also pegged China, with increased attention to improving infrastructure, as the dominant force in global sourcing for the foreseeable future.


Peter McGrath, Executive Vice President, Product Development and Sourcing, JCPenney
Sourcing Keynote

Speaking on what would become a common theme throughout the conference, Mr. McGrath discussed the steep rise in cotton prices globally over the past few months, and the uncertainty that has created in the global sourcing market. He proclaimed that it would usher in the end of cheap apparel, and would lead to growth in private brands as more retailers look to cut costs in other areas. Mr. McGrath also challenged the Obama Administration, Congress and USA-ITA to fight against high textile and apparel tariffs on basic items, which unfairly target the poor.


Frank Capo, VP Customer Service & Sales, Total Terminals International
John Atkins, Chief Operating Officer, Global Terminals
Ports/Terminals Panel

Mr. Capo discussed a number of issues involving Port on the West coast of the U.S., including the increase in volume this year, individual terminal initiatives, and issues with chassis. For the last, he mentioned that it is expensive for carriers to maintain their own, and may cease doing so in the future. Mr. Capo also touched on the current political hot topic of the LA Clean Trucks Program, which he said was a thinly-disguised measure to bring teamsters into the ports.

Mr. Atkins gave the conference attendees his perspective on the status of the terminals and ports on the East coast. With poor infrastructure and a need for deeper ports and higher clearance above water, some ports like the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey are taking steps such as dredging all terminals and considering bridge replacement. Clean Port initiatives that are sweeping the West coast are also being discussed in the East, though without the employee mandate that has led to opposition in LA.


Brian Pomper, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
David Spooner, Of Counsel, Squire Sanders & Dempsey
The Meaning of the Midterm Elections

With the midterm elections just passed and the lame duck sessions ongoing in Congress, Mr. Spooner and Mr. Pomper brought some insight from Washington for conference attendees. In Mr. Spooner's opinion, the changeover in the House to Republican leadership could mean an easier time with the trade agenda, which did not move at all this year and even experienced set-backs in the form of protectionist legislation. Mr. Pomper was not as positive on that point, mentioning that many of the Democrats who lost their seats were pro-trade, and that the incoming Tea Party representatives may not be as pro-trade as their Republican colleagues. Both agreed that, despite the changes, it would continue to be a difficult political climate for Free Trade Agreements in 2011.

Dr. Lee B. Kindberg, Director Environment, Maersk Line
Mark Messura, Sr. VP Global Supply Chain Marketing, Cotton Incorporated
Cotton and Sustainability Panel


In her presentation, Dr. Kindberg defined sustainability as dealing with the environment and with corporate social responsibility. While these are currently buzz words, the legal and social climate changes constantly, leaving companies with a high degree of uncertainty. She highlighted the best ways to determine your own company's supply chain carbon footprint through mode of transportation, distance traveled by each mode, and available routing. Dr. Kindberg highlighted Wal-Mart as an example who publishes their sustainability goals and data online, and encouraged other companies to provide concrete data on their own efforts to customers. In addition to transportation, Dr. Kindberg encouraged companies to look at the entire supply chain – from the factories to the retail outlets.


Mr. Messura brought a data-filled presentation highlighting the market volatility of cotton. He said that in the past year or so, cotton prices rose rapidly due to lower production, higher demand, Indian export restrictions, and poor logistics in China. He predicted that they would remain high for at least another two years, but once past that point the global supply was uncertain. One result of the global downturn in supply has been that U.S. cotton is currently 80 percent sold, which is five times higher than this time last year.


David Kim, President, GG International
Sahid Nazir, CEO, Masood Textiles Mills Ltd
Dr. Alaa Arafa, Chairman, Ready Made Garment Export Council
Sourcing Around the Globe

This panel brought together three international manufacturing representatives who shared perspectives from different countries on manufacturing and sourcing from within their country. Mr. Kim spoke about his company, GG International, which operates in Indonesia. Indonesia is the third largest apparel supplier to the U.S. by value, but suffers from challenges including power shortages, insufficient infrastructure, lack of raw materials, and low R&D. The country's positive assets include a young and skilled workforce, improved government investment, and a growing and stable economy.

Mr. Nazir talked about the devastation that remains in Pakistan the floods earlier this year, which did affect the country's domestic manufacturing and cotton crop. He touched on the ROZ zones, which, while not entirely in the war zones, are also far from the cotton growing areas. Pakistan is the world's fourth-largest cotton producer and the largest cotton yarn spinner, and textile and apparel represent 62 percent of Pakistani exports. Mr. Nazir encouraged companies to consider Pakistan as China grows more expensive, and added that jobs in Pakistan will promote regional security.

Dr. Alaa compared Egypt with many other sourcing options, making the case for why companies should consider relocated their sourcing away from places like China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakstan, Vietnam and Cambodia. Among the benefits he mentioned were good growth, decent purchasing power, and a young and growing labor force. While textile and apparel only make up seven percent of Egypt's non-oil exports, programs like the QIZs could help increase sourcing in Egypt.


Gail Strickler, Assistant USTR for Textiles & Apparel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Janet Heinzen, Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, U.S. Department of Commerce
Textile Trade Policy in 2011

Ms. Strickler gave attendees an update on recent fixes to CAFTA, which has been growing over the past 10 months, and also gave an update on the progress in Haiti, where new factories are slated to open in the future. She highlighted and provided updates for a list of top issues including India Cotton; ROZs; Doha Round; Korea FTA; Colombia and Panama FTAs; and TPP negotiations. When asked about USTR's opposition to textiles provisions in the next Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), Ms. Strickler said that in the context of current TPP talks, it is best for the U.S. to have as much leverage as possible. The duty suspensions in the MTB would diminish the U.S.' ability to get textile concessions. She also said that she would prefer to save duty-free access to the U.S. market for countries that also provide duty-free access for U.S. goods.


Ms. Heinzen gave conference attendees some background on what the Commerce Department Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) and the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) are and what they do. Despite many changes in the past decade with sourcing patterns, major U.S. suppliers in 2000 and 2009 were the same. For 2011, Ms. Heinzen highlighted the MTB; the National Export Initiative (NEI); current practices with FTAs; Preference programs; and the Doha Round as issues that the Commerce Department would be focusing on.


George Goldman, Vice President and Managing Director, Hong Kong/South China, APL, Ltd.
Jon Fee, Partner, Alston + Bird LLP
Interesting Times: What's Next for China

Mr. Goldman provided insight on the changes happening and slated to come within China, where wages are going up and the labor force is shrinking. The government is investing heavily in infrastructure to move industry inland, but Mr. Goldman believes that this shift will not happen soon. Despite all of this, he disagreed with other speakers' assessments that China is getting too expensive, which would cause companies to leave the country. He predicted that China will remain at the forefront for sourcing operations in the foreseeable future.

Mr. Fee spoke about the U.S. social and regulatory concerns with China. While the domestic textile industry has vilified the country, he does not believe that the currency legislation – which passed the House – would advance in the Senate in either the lame duck session or in 2011. Mr. Fee said that with other regulatory tools, such as safeguards or AD/CVD cases, neither had been used for apparel and he did not see any likelihood in that happening down the road. Mr. Fee did express concern over the LDP import system, however.


Leigh Schmid, Outgoing Chairman, COAC
Janet Labuda, Director of Textile Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Customs Issues in 2011

Mr. Schmid spoke about Customs recent initiatives--including Management by Account and ACE--that would be moving forward in 2011. In response to criticism that COAC has been ineffective recently, he pointed out that the past four years had seen a high turnover in Customs Commissioners, which made COAC's job much more difficult. Ms. Labuda, in her final appearance at the Annual Conference prior to her retirement, shared the positive news that U.S. importers continued to increase despite the recent drop in U.S. imports. While textiles and apparel make up just 6 percent of U.S. imports, they provide 47 percent of Customs duties. Ms. Labuda reported altthat during Customs visits to 11 countries and 235 factories, non-compliance rates were 25 percent, down substantially from 45 percent in 2009. She also reported that Customs has rolled out major training efforts in CAFTA, Morocco, Egypt, and the U. S.


Upcoming Events

USA-ITA Seminars

Duty Savings Through Tariff Engineering

December 8, 2010
10:00 AM - Noon
Presenter: Diane L. Weinberg
Macy’s Merchandising Group
Cost: $65 USA-ITA members | $115 non-members

Register for this seminar

Tariff engineering also known as tariff avoidance is an important tactic that enables apparel importers to legally reduce the duty rate of products. Unlike tariff evasion, which is illegal, tariff engineering is a legal stratagem by which the importer considers the fiber content, materials used, construction, and the principal use of the product before the goods are manufactured. Actual samples of products will be discussed. The seminar will also discuss the opportunities presented for tariff engineering under free trade agreements.

Valuation and First Sale – From Basics to Best Practices

January 11, 2011
10:00 AM - Noon
KPMG Headquarters

Cost: $65 USA-ITA members | $115 non-members

Register for this seminar

Developed by KPMG's Trade and Customs professionals and in coordination with USA-ITA, this seminar will provide an overview of relevant regulations and best practices surrounding product valuation. Coverage will also include a discussion on risks surrounding the first sale for export method of valuation and ways for preparing for a first sale audit. Specifically, the discussion will highlight the following:

  • Fundamental valuation concepts
  • Risk Assessments and risk monitoring
  • Red Flags
  • First sale implementation
  • Methods of establishing a successful risk monitoring program for first sale transactions
  • Managing first sale audits
  • Best Practices surrounding risk monitoring

Finally, the seminar will address what to expect from U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2011 in terms of valuation.

Andrew Siciliano, Partner, KPMG’s Trade and Customs Practice, New York
Irina Vaysfeld, Senior Manager, KPMG’s Trade and Customs Practice, New York


Happy Thanksgiving!

The staff at USA-ITA wishes you and your family a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving! Our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, reopening Monday.



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Conference Sponsors

Special thanks to the sponsors of our upcoming Annual Conference:

Platinum Sponsors



Hanjin Shipping




Silver Sponsor



Luncheon Sponsor

Cotton Incorporated

Conference Bag Sponsor


Conference Notepad Sponsor


Conference Exhibitors
Past Event Recordings Now Available

The USA-ITA 2010 Education Series is well underway, with several webinars and seminars already completed (see left column for upcoming dates). To order a copy, click on the event name.

Taking A New Look At Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs)

First Sale - Where We've Been And Where We're Going

Managing Your Third Party Risks Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Customs Penalties – Recent Developments

What the Haiti HELP Act Can Do For You

The Global Supply and Demand Situation for Cotton: Implications for Prices Today and Tomorrow

Ocean Freight Discounts with AISA

USA-ITA members may contact the American Import Shippers Association (AISA) to discuss discounted ocean freight charges and ocean carrier options that AISA offers. Please click here, fill out the questionnaire, and AISA will be in contact to discuss rate details. (There is no membership fee for USA-ITA members).


Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. what you thought about our new member newsletter! What you liked, what you didn't like, and what you want us to add. We appreciate your feedback.