Thursday, May 23, 2019

USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Female Fashion Dresses, Jumpsuits, Maxi Dresses, and Accoutrements

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain female fashion dresses, jumpsuits, maxi skirts, and accoutrements.  The products at issue in the investigation are described in the Commission’s notice of investigation.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Style Pantry LLC of Beverly Hills, CA, on March 20, 2019.  An amended complaint was filed on April 24, 2019.  The complaint, as amended, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 based upon the importation and sale of certain female fashion dresses, jumpsuits, maxi skirts, and accoutrements by reason of false designation, false description, dilution, and obtaining sales by false claim of association, the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in the United States.  The complainant requests that the USITC issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders.

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

Amazon.com Inc. of Seattle, WA;
Xunyun, Jiaxing Xunyung Imp & Exp Co. Ltd., of Zhejiang, China; and
Jianzhang Liao, Pinkqueen Apparel Inc., of Xiaman, China.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1157), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.  The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.  The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time.  Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.  USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

Williams Sonoma Hit with Claim of False Made in USA Claims

On May 21, 2019, Truthinadvertising.org filed a deceptive made in the USA marketing complaint against California-based specialty retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. with the FTC. Here are five things to know about the complaint against one of the largest e-commerce retailers in the country.

Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S.A.

Agathon Associates will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day, a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the last Monday of May. Federal, State, and local government offices will be closed, as will nearly all non-retail businesses. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Readers of the Textiles and Trade Blog who do business in the United Kingdom should also note the the last Monday of May is the Spring Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom.

In much of the United States, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The "three day weekend" created by the Monday holiday is enjoyed with cookouts, trips to the beach and other leisure activities as will as parades and public ceremonies honoring those who died in service of the nation.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

—John McCrae (1872-1918)

Each year I see fewer and fewer men on the street wearing remembrance poppies on Memorial Day, since 1971 celebrated on the last Monday in May. One year I couldn't even find anyone selling "Buddy Poppies," the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans.

For more than 90 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well being of their dependents. In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy.

When you buy your Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day you will be giving material aid to a disabled veteran. And when you wear your Buddy Poppy you will remind everyone who sees you of the meaning of Memorial Day.

The American Legion also sells crepe paper poppies for Memorial Day. That is another fine organization worthy of your support.

Although the United States Department of Veterans Affairs states "The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day" many of us do join our friends from the British Commonwealth nations in wearing the red poppy of remembrance on November 11th as well.

This Memorial Day remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion to cause of liberty.

Maine Textiles International Closes

A Saco dye house that expanded in 2017 in hopes of reviving the state’s textile industry has shut down, breaking the supply chain for other textile companies in the New England area, reports the Portland Press Herald

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

U.S. Knitters File Opposition to Morocco Short Supply Request

On April 18, 2019, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements published in the Federal Register (84 FR 16243) Request for Public Comment on a Commercial Availability Request Under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement

SUMMARY: The Government of the United States received a request from the Government of Morocco dated March 14, 2019, on behalf of GOTTEX SWIMWEAR BRANDS LTD to initiate consultations under Article 4.3.3 of the USMFTA. The Government of Morocco is requesting that the United States and Morocco consider revising the rules of origin for women's or girls' swimwear to address availability of supply of certain knit fabric in the territories of the Parties. the USMFTA.

Comments in opposition were filed by:

Agathon Associates notes that the request from the Government of Morocco states that the third-country fabric that would be the beneficiary of the proposed modification will incorporate Lyrca® brand spandex produced in Ireland by U.S.A.-based manufacturer Invista. We fail to see the relevancy of this statement. If the rule of origin is modified to allow third-country fabric, the origin of the yarn in the fabric is irrelevant, and the yarn could be sourced from any of the many spandex manufacturers located in several countries. However, if the rule is not modified, and GOTTEX chooses to use fabric made in the U.S., the source of the yarn will also be U.S. -- from Invista, the sole U.S. producer of spandex -- due the requirement in the USMFTA that elastomeric yarn in the component that determines the tariff classification of the garment must be 100% originating in the region.

Consumer Product Safety Commission Personnel Attending Industry Conferences in June

On June 5, 2019, Jacqueline Campbell, CPSC Directorate for Engineering Sciences, will be a panelist (participating remotely) at the ASTM D13 Smart Textiles Workshop at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado. For additional information, including call-in information, contact Jacqueline Campbell at jcampbell@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2024.

On June 6, 2019, Sabrina Keller, CPSC Deputy Director for the Office of Import Surveillance and Yaniri De Leon, CPSC Compliance Investigator, will be participating in the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Product Safety and Compliance Seminar. They will be speaking as part of a panel entitled "Safety at the Ports." The seminar will be held at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, N.Y. For more details on the event, see https://www.aafaglobal.org/AAFA/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=PSE2019. For additional information, contact Sabrina Keller at 301-504-7697 or skeller@cpsc.gov.

On June 19, 2019, Allyson Tenney, CPSC Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, will be attending ASTM International F08.22-Camping Softgoods and Tent Flammability Task Group Meeting at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado. For more information contact Allyson Tenney at atenney@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2769 or ASTM International at www.astm.org.

On June 19-21, 2019, Jacqueline Campbell, CPSC Directorate for Engineering Sciences, and Allyson Tenney, CPSC Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, will be attending the WEAR Conference 2019 June 19-21, 2019, from 8:00am to 5:00pm each day, at the Westin Bellevue in Seattle, Washington. For additional information contact Jacqueline Campbell at jcampbell@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2024.

DoD Contracts for Sewn Products and Footwear Awarded

Propper International Inc., Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $12,771,847 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for packs. This was a competitive acquisition with four responses received. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a May 31, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-1168).

Rocky Brands Inc., Nelsonville, Ohio, has been awarded a maximum $9,019,834 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for boots. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a May 20, 2020, performance completion date. Using customer is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-1150).