The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) represents the fashion industry: textile and apparel brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989 as the United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel with the goal of eliminating the global apparel quota system, USFIA now works to eliminate the tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the industry’s ability to trade freely and create economic opportunities in the United States and abroad.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the most respected voice for 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
The United States Fashion Industry Association is pleased to announce that PwC has been named our Premier Partner for 2016/2017. PwC will continue to help us deliver timely, critical information to global brands and retailers as well as develop innovative educational and networking events to help 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 2016/2017: Innovation Partner Amber Road and Customs Broker Partner OHL. Click here to read more about these partners and our activities.
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- The Modern Apparel Company: Maintaining Control of Your Brand in the Omni-Channel Apparel World
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- President Signs Haiti Enhancement Bill Into Law
- Update on Consumer Product Safety Issues
- ILO Releases New Report on Child Labor
Last night, the President signed the Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010 into law, amending the United States-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006 (HOPE I), and the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2008 (HOPE II). As a result, the Caribbean Basin program is extended by ten years, from September 30, 2010 to September 30, 2020, and the potential volume of trade from Haiti that can qualify for duty-free access to the U.S. market is increased.
The new law also directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seek to send a "rapid response team and a "support team," to Haiti to: (1) assess the technical, capacity-building, and training needs of Haitian customs officials; and (2) provide assistance toward reestablishing full capacity for commercial port operations at the seaport at Port-au-Prince, "preventing unlawful transshipment" of goods through Haiti to the United States. The Commissioner of CBP is required to report back to Congress on those actions.
Yesterday's Federal Register included the Consumer Product Safety Commission's proposed rule on the controversial – but Congressionally-mandated — publicly available consumer product safety information database. There is only a 60 day comment period provided, but the CPSC raises lots of questions throughout the notice; written comments are due no later than July 23. (The written comments on the third party testing requirements, including for components, and labeling, are due August 7.)
Given the significant impact that a posting on the database could have for manufacturers and brands, it is well worth your time to closely review the proposed rule and consider filing comments on how the rule could be revised to include safeguards against the posting of inaccurate or unjustified allegations. Among the matters that should concern those entities whose products could be identified is that under the proposal a submitter would be entitled to decline to have any contact information provided to named manufacturers or brands, thereby limiting the ability of an accused company to effectively investigate and respond to an allegation. At this point, the proposal does not include an opportunity for a manufacturer or brand to commit to maintain the confidentiality of such information as a condition for obtaining it in order to expeditiously review and respond to the allegation. As a general rule, a manufacturer or brand would have only 10 business days to respond to an allegation before it is posted on the public database .
In case you have not noticed, the Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act, a draft bill by the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Henry Waxman (D-CA), which many expected to be introduced soon after a hearing that was held on April 28, still has not been introduced. At the hearing, Chairman Waxman indicated that he aspired to introduce a bipartisan bill and described a circulated draft bill as a work in process, expressing an openness to making "tweaks" to the draft to achieve the objective of addressing some of the unintended consequences of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. A month later, however, it appears that the chairman has not been receptive to some suggested revisions (including expansions) to the draft bill and as a result the introduction of the bill is stalled. As USA-ITA members will recall, the Waxman bill addresses a few of the problems created by the CPSIA, but leaves many problems unsolved.
Last Sunday evening, the CBS news program included a feature on the phthalates ban established under the CPSIA and some scientific studies on phthalates. The segment is entitled "Phthalates: Are They Safe?" It can be viewed from the 60 Minutes website.
The International Labor Organization this week issued a "global report" on the progress being made toward eliminating the worst forms of child labor by 2016. The report concludes that substantial progress has been achieved, and particularly that there has been a decline in child labor among girls and a decline in the number of children in hazardous work. However, the ILO report says, since 2006 the reduction of child labor has slowed and child labor among boys and young people in the 15 to 17 age group has actually increased.
In discussing the relationship between trade and child labor, the report expressly states that "it is evident that the majority of child labor is not found in the export sector but rather in the production of goods and services for local consumption." (That distinction indicates that is more difficult for U.S. buyers to use enforcement of their codes of conduct to directly address the issue in the countries from which they source.)
The report also concludes that children's work is declining in the Asia-Pacific region and in Latin America and the Caribbean, but it is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa. Most child labor is in the agriculture sector, and, says the report, "the overwhelming majority" of child labor is "unpaid family workers."
This is the third report issued by the ILO since 2002, and the second since 2006, when the 2016 target was set. Click here to view the report.