Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Agathon Associates to Assist FTZ 81 with Alternative Site Framework Re-Organization

Foreign Trade Zone Solutions, a New Hampshire consulting company has been engaged to assist New Hampshire's Pease Development Authority in applying to re-organize their Foreign Trade Zone under the Alternative Site Framework which will give New Hampshire companies not physically within the zone the opportunity to participate in the tariff-saving benefits of the zone. Agathon Associates has been sub-contracted to work with Foreign Trade Zone Solutions on this project. You can read about it in the September 15, 2017, issue of New Hampshire Business Review, HERE

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is revising the Fur, Textile, and Wool Rules to Require Electronic Filing of RN Requests

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is revising the Fur, Textile, and Wool Rules to require electronic filing of requests to obtain, update, or cancel registered identification numbers used on fur, textile, and wool product labels through the FTC's Web site. The revisions facilitate the use of the Commission's web-based registered identification number ("RN") system, which will streamline the application and update process for participating businesses, and greatly increase the efficiency with which the FTC delivers RN services to the public.

Background

Federal labeling requirements mandate that most fur, textile, and wool products have a label identifying the manufacturer or other business responsible for marketing or handling the item. To comply with this mandate, a person or firm residing in the United States that imports, manufactures, markets, distributes, or otherwise handles fur, textile, or wool products may apply for an RN to display on product labels in lieu of the person or firm's full name. RNs are not mandatory, but they occupy less space on a label and help buyers identify the person or firm responsible for a product. The public can find contact information for each RN registrant by searching the FTC's public Web page dedicated to the RN program, https://rn.ftc.gov.

For over 50 years, to obtain or update an RN, one had to complete and submit a paper form published in the Federal Register, or in more recent years, transmit the information requested on that form by electronic means. The FTC receives thousands of new RN applications every year in various formats, thus complicating and slowing the review process.

Recently, the FTC upgraded its RN Web page at https://rn.ftc.gov to make it easier for the public to obtain, update, and cancel RNs. As part of this initiative, and to further improve and streamline its handling of RN requests, the FTC is retiring the paper forms previously published in the Federal Register and discontinuing the handling of RN requests submitted by mail, hand delivery, or facsimile.

The FTC's upgraded Web site allows the public to create a password-protected user account to obtain or update an RN without requiring more company information than before. To process a new RN application, the Web site asks the applicant in pertinent part to identify its legal name, the name under which it does business, the business' street address, the type of business it conducts (e.g., manufacturing or importing), the product line(s) it handles that are subject to the Fur, Textile, or Wool Acts, and additional contact information (e.g., phone number and email address). The upgraded Web site validates data as applicants enter it, and can immediately advise an applicant in numerous instances if the data is erroneous (e.g., a truncated phone number) or does not appear to meet the requirements for issuance of an RN (e.g., the applicant does not provide a street address in the United States). Users can also visit the Web site and login to request the cancellation of their RNs. Because the information requested to process RN requests has not changed, the FTC is not changing the requirements for RN requests, only specifying the method by which requests must be submitted.

AGOA TPLs Announced

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act ("AGOA") provides for duty-free entry of apparel assembled in the AGOA region of fabric formed in the U.S. of yarn formed in the U.S. It also provided for a Tariff Preference Level ("TPL") equal to seven percent of all U.S. apparel imports for apparel assembled in the AGOA region of fabric from the AGOA region. The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("CITA"), today, announce the TPL for the period October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018 will be 2,022,822,376 square meter equivalents ("SME"). There is also a TPL for Lesser Developed Countries ("LDCs") in the AGOA region for apparel assembled in an AGOA LDC of third-country fabric. The TPL is set at 3.5 percent of all U.S. apparel imports. Today CITA announced the TPL for the 12-month period starting October 1, 2017 will be 1,011,411,188 SME.

Agathon Associates to Participate in AGOA Panel in Botswana

On October 31, 2017, David Trumbull, principal, Agathon Associates, will be speaking at Global Expo Botswana, an annual business-to-business exhibition organised and managed by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, an agency of the Government of Botswana mandated with attracting export oriented investments into Botswana and increasing regional and international market accessibility for locally manufactured goods and services.

The Botswana Investment and Trade Conference, in the capital city Gaborone, will feature investment and trade topics deliberated by both global and regional lead speakers and panellists. Trumbull will be panelist on the topic, "How can the textiles sector in Botswana be revamped in order to fully take advantage of the new Africa Growth and Opportunity Act ("AGOA") initiative? - The cases of Lesotho & Mauritius."

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jesse Daystar Appointed First Chief Sustainability Officer for Cotton Incorporated

Cotton Incorporated, the research and promotion company for U.S. cotton producers and importers, has extended its commitment to sustainability of cotton across the supply chain by appointing Dr. Jesse Daystar, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. SEE PRESS RELEASE

Sunday, September 17, 2017

U.S. Company Gets Contract for Afghan Military Clothing

Bethel Industries Inc., Jersey City, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $22,572,000 firm-fixed-price contract for various types of field jackets. This is a two-year contract with no option periods. This was the small business set-aside lot 0002 portion of a solicitation containing two lots. This was a competitive acquisition with six responses received. Location of performance is New Jersey, with a Sept. 14, 2019, performance completion date. This is a Foreign Military Sales ("FMS") procurement. Using customers are Afghan Border Police, Afghan Uniform Police, Afghan National Army and Afghan National Army Special Operations. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2017 through 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-17-D-1094).

Within the U.S. industry it is widely understood that Department of Defense acquisitions of textiles and clothing are government by the Berry Amendment which requires domestic U.S. sourcing. Less well known is that the Berry Amendment applies to all funds "made available" to the Defense Department. That includes Department of Defense procurement for Foreign Military Sales.

Agathon Associates Welcomes Chinese Textile Delegation to Boston

The Temple University Office of Executive Leadership Education recently hosted a delegation totaling 13 faculty members from Zhongyuan University of Technology at Temple University, Pennsylvania, from August 27 to September 16 for 21-days' training program in the application and development to new technology and new materials utilization in the textile and clothing industries. The final three days included visits in the Boston area.

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, David Trumbull, principal, Agathon Associates, welcomed the delegation to New England with a reception in the Miller Room of the Harvard Club of Boston.

Above, the Zhongyuan University Textile Delegation at the Harvard Club of Boston.

Agathon Associates also assisted in arranging meetings later that day with Dr. Fan and Dr. Kim at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and meetings the following day with Dr. Hannel and Dr. Bide at the University of Rhode Island. While in the Boston area the delegation also took meetings at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.