Thursday, April 2, 2020

Jacqueline Campbell a Panelist on the Panel “Now Listen Carefully… It's Time to Get Smart” during the 2020 Smart Fabrics Summit

Jacqueline Campbell, Consumer Product Safety Commission, will be a panelist on the opening panel “Now Listen Carefully… It's Time to Get Smart” during the 2020 Smart Fabrics Summit, on Thursday, April 16, 2020, from 11:00am to 11:50am, which will be conducted as a webinar. For additional information contact Jacqueline Campbell at jcampbell@cpsc.gov or (301) 987-2024.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

AATCC Honors H. Kenneth Greeson with the Olney Medal

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, February 7, 2020—H. Kenneth Greeson, manager of Textile Chemistry Research at Cotton Incorporated, is the 2019 recipient of the AATCC Olney Medal. Greeson is being recognized for his work in durable press finishing of cotton. He has spent many years working with durable press chemistry—in particular, resin and cross-linking chemistry—and has made several significant advancements in cotton durable press technology.

Most recently, Greeson was awarded a utility patent for his work on the formulation of a non-formaldehyde durable press finish for cotton, known as Purepress. This technology combines smoothness with enhanced strength, tear and abrasion resistance, as compared to the traditional DMDHEU finish. The Purepress finish has comparable whiteness, enhanced strength, no shade change, and no odor; it also requires a lower cure temperature than the traditional DMDHEU resin finish.

Throughout his career, Greeson has applied and shared his knowledge of textile chemistry. His practical work experience, coupled with his textile chemistry education, have allowed him to make some significant contributions to finishes for cotton that enhance the fabric’s characteristics and prolong the usable life of the treated garments. Upon Greeson’s arrival at Cotton Incorporated, he worked with John Turner to develop the Tough Cotton technology, which provides abrasion resistance and improved tear strength for cotton fabrics. Turner originally developed this technology for woven fabrics; however, Greeson modified the technology to make it applicable for knit fabrics.

Not only has Greeson made important contributions to textile chemistry, he also generously shares his knowledge by mentoring and educating interns, contractors, and colleagues. His innate ability to describe, simulate, and perform complex chemical reactions, mechanisms, and application processes makes it possible for him to nurture and guide many future textile chemists, positively impacting their successes and achievements. While this aspect of his work may not easily be measured, it is another example of Greeson’s significant and meritorious contributions to the field of textile chemistry.

Greeson has been an active member of AATCC since 1982. Greeson has shared his knowledge through publications in AATCC Review and Textile Research Journal, in addition to serving as a reviewer for AATCC publications. In recognition of his service to AATCC research committees, he was awarded the AATCC TCR Service Award.

In addition to his service to AATCC, he is also the secretary of the Southern Textile Research Conference (STRC).

Greeson received a BS in Textile Chemistry, with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry, from North Carolina State University (NCSU). He began his career in 1981 at Collins & Aikman Corp. as a research chemist assistant before joining Cheraw Dyeing and Finishing/Cone Mills in 1982 as a technical advisor. He transferred to Cone Mills Technical Services as a Senior Finish Chemist/Chemist IV, where he stayed for five years, before becoming the manager of the chemist lab at Granite Finishing Plant/Cone Mills. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated in 2002, he worked as a Manager in the Applications Lab at Sedgefield Specialties, an Applications Supervisor at Apollo Chemical Corp., and a Technical Services Representative at Stockhausen Inc.

The Olney Medal

Established in 1944 in honor of Louis Atwell Olney, the founder and first president of AATCC, the Olney Medal Award recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science. The award consists of a gold medal, a scroll, and an honorarium. Presentation of the Medal each year is a highlight of AATCC’s International Conference.

For a complete list of our esteemed past award recipients, visit www.aatcc.org/abt/awards/

Chronicle to receive Chapin Award for Service to AATCC

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, February 14, 2020— In recognition of her outstanding service to the Association, Debra F. Chronicle has been chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award for her dedicated service and outreach—locally, nationally, and internationally.

Chronicle joined AATCC in 1980 as a member of the Rhode Island Section, and from 1987 through 1988 served on the Rhode Island Sectional Committee. From 1990 through 1991, she was selected as one of three Rhode Island Councilors and, in this capacity, served as a national officer on the AATCC Council. She was elected as vice-chair of the Rhode Island Section from 1992 through 1993 and chaired the section from 1994 through 1995. In 1996, she became treasurer of the Rhode Island Section. When the Northern New England and Rhode Island Sections merged in 2002, Chronicle was responsible for balancing and then merging the financial records of both sections. She was elected to the office of treasurer of the newly formed New England Section beginning in 2003, and she continues to serve as the New England Section Treasurer to this day.

In her role as treasurer of the AATCC New England Section, Chronicle is a fiscally attentive and responsible officer. She has provided consistent financial guidance to the local section, and transparent fiscal reporting on the local and national levels. She volunteers tirelessly for section and regional events and encourages participation and service from members, as well as textile and design students in the region. She motivates her fellow section officers and brings a sense of regional responsibility to her peers. Even when traveling, she promotes the Association and the benefits of membership.

Nationally, Chronicle served as the New England Regional Board Member from 2015 through 2016. She was reappointed by the New England Region to continue her service from 2017 through 2018. As the New England Regional Board Member, she represented the New England Region on the AATCC Board of Directors, as well as the AATCC Membership and Publications Committees, Committee on Conferences, and Technical Committee on Research. She served as chair of the AATCC Membership Committee from 2015 through 2018. Also, from 1991 through 2010, Chronicle was a member of the Printing Technology Research Committee.

The Chapin Award

The Chapin Award was established in 1958 in honor of Harold C. Chapin, professor of chemistry at Lowell Textile School, who served as national secretary of AATCC for nearly 25 years.

For a list of past Chapin Award recipients, visit www.aatcc.org/abt/awards/chapin

Report Highlights Accomplishments in Reducing Foreign Trade Barriers to American Exports

On March 31, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the 2020 National Trade Estimate Report

The National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE) covers 63 countries, customs territories and regional associations, including each of the 20 United States’ free trade agreement (FTA) partners and all of the 50 largest markets for U.S. goods exports. These partners together account for over 95% of the United States’ $5.5 trillion in two-way goods and services trade. The NTE Report reviews each in detail, highlighting concerns regarding issues ranging from industrial tariffs and import licensing to digital data flow, customs, agricultural quotas, industrial subsidies, restrictions on provision of telecommunications services, and more.

Each year’s edition of the NTE Report changes and evolves. Sometimes this reflects the creation of new barriers to U.S. exports, and at other times new conceptual challenges and opportunities arising from the progress of science, technology, and logistics. Changes in the NTE Report from one year to the next also reflect the success of U.S. negotiations and enforcement efforts. Such successes have been worldwide since the publication of the 2019 NTE Report, highlighted by examples including:

WESTERN HEMISPHERE

Canada and Mexico – United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): The USMCA represents a generational, comprehensive revision of the old North American Free Trade Agreement. In addition to landmark revisions of automotive rules of origin, state-of-the-art labor and environmental provisions, and 21st-century digital trade rules, the USMCA contains numerous provisions that – once in force – will address outstanding trade-related irritants with Canada and Mexico. For example, under the USMCA and related instruments, Canada agreed to eliminate milk classes 6 and 7, discriminatory grading of U.S. wheat, and British Columbia’s discriminatory treatment of U.S. wine in grocery stores. The USMCA also includes obligations to strengthen enforcement against counterfeiting and piracy, camcording of movies, satellite and cable signal theft, transparency with respect to new geographical indications, and copyright protection and enforcement in the digital environment. The USMCA also cracks down on data localization measures for services providers and financial services providers and locks in Mexico’s telecommunications and energy reforms.

Colombia – End of the “1x1” Truck Scrappage Policy: Due to U.S. engagement and enforcement efforts, Colombia ended the “1x1” truck scrappage policy on June 30, 2019. In March 2013, the Colombian government eliminated an option to pay a “scrappage fee” to legally register a heavy truck (over 10.5 metric tons) in Colombia, which negatively affected previously robust sales of imported trucks (which were generally over 10.5 metric tons).

EUROPEAN UNION

Technical Standards for Certain Heavy Electrical Products: The EU's requirements for restricting hazardous substances in electronic and electrical products are burdensome and arbitrary, and force companies to pursue an onerous and lengthy exemption process. In 2017, companies applied for exemptions to continue to use two substances (DEHP phthalate in rubber and lead in solder) that would have otherwise been banned in 2019 in engines, because there are no viable alternatives that provide the necessary flexibility in rubber and heat-resistance in solder. Following engagement by the U.S. government and industry, the EU approved in September 2019 the continued use of those two substances in engines for an additional five years. Those exemptions were fully implemented by EU member states in early 2020.

MIDDLE EAST

North Africa Markets Open to U.S. Beef, Poultry, Eggs, and Genetics: In April 2019, the United States and Tunisia finalized U.S. export certificates to allow imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products into Tunisia. In June 2019, the United States and Morocco completed export certificates for U.S. processed eggs and beef genetics to Morocco, and reached agreement to improve U.S market access under the U.S.-Morocco FTA tariff rate quotas.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Ghana – Automobile Standards: In 2019, Ghana proposed measures that would only recognize automobile standards developed by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) as international standards. The proposal would have moved towards the wide adoption of the ECE standards and regulations as equivalent and significantly narrow the acceptance of U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The United States provided comments and background information on FMVSS and their use. Following U.S. action, Ghana agreed to incorporate U.S. standards into its new standards policy, which are pending publication by the Ghana Standards Authority.

Standards Alliance Implementation with USAID: USTR worked with USAID to implement the Standards Alliance, a public-private partnership that provides technical assistance to developing countries and regions to help ensure that those countries’ standards-related measures do not impose unnecessary obstacles to trade and comply with other important obligations under the WTO TBT Agreement. In 2019, the Standards Alliance operated in five sub-Saharan African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia. The programs included workshops to increase the application of good regulatory practices, the use of international standards in regulations, and the use of regulatory impact assessments. These procedures help to reduce unnecessary obstacles to U.S. trade by ensuring, for example, that proposed regulations are made available for public comment and that potential impacts of proposed measures are analyzed and taken into account.

CHINA AND TAIWAN

China – Historic “Phase One” Agreement: The United States and China reached an historic Phase One agreement that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China to make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution arrangement that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. At the same time, the United States maintains tariffs on many Chinese goods while monitoring and additional negotiations continue.

Taiwan – Adoption of Mechanism for Early Resolution of Potential Patent Disputes: In August 2019, following sustained engagement by USTR, final implementing regulations for Taiwan’s December 2017 amendments to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act entered into force. The establishment of a mechanism for early resolution of potential patent disputes, including coverage for biologics, represents a promising step forward for Taiwan in its efforts to develop an innovative pharmaceutical sector. Taiwan – Passage of Amendments to Trade Secrets Act: On December 31, 2019, Taiwan passed amendments to the Trade Secrets Act that provided authority to prosecutors to issue protective orders during investigation proceedings. These changes, long sought by USTR, are expected to improve Taiwan’s ability to effectively prosecute cases of trade secrets theft by protecting information from unauthorized disclosures.

JAPAN

New Access in Japan for U.S. Agricultural Exporters: The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 2020, further opens a critically important market for U.S. food and agricultural goods exporters, including through the reduction or elimination of tariffs or allowance of a specific quantity of imports from the United States. This agreement eliminates many long-standing barriers and ensures that over 90% of U.S. food and agriculture exports have access to Japan either on a duty-free or other preferential basis.

U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement: The U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement, which also entered into force on January 1, 2020, parallels the USMCA as the most comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement addressing digital trade barriers ever negotiated. The Agreement covers over $40 billion in digital trade between the United States and Japan. It incorporates strong rules prohibiting data localization measures, including for financial services data, and ensuring that data can be transferred across borders by all suppliers, as well as rules ensuring non-discriminatory treatment of digital products, and protecting against forced disclosure of proprietary source code and algorithms.

Access for Passenger Airlines: Following amendment of the 1952 U.S.-Japan Civil Air Transport Agreement in March 2020, Japan opened up 12 new slot pairings for U.S. passenger airlines at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, significantly improving access at commercially viable times long sought by U.S. air carriers.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Vietnam – Automobile Regulations: After the United States raised concerns, Vietnam rescinded a decree that required lot-by-lot testing and replaced it with a new program that requires autos to be tested by model. Vietnam revised its auto import testing regulatory system, which now facilitates the import of U.S.-manufactured autos.

Free Webinar: SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other resources for Textile and Apparel Companies Impacted by COVID-19, April 3, 2020, 11 - 12 p.m. ET.

SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million for working capital with a term of up to 30 years to help support small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue. Learn about the qualifications, forms, and procedure. For more information, or to register CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Thomaston Mills, USA Manufacturer, has Bed Sheets in stock for Hospitals and Health Centers During the Covid-19 Crisis

Thomaston Mills, a producer of quality linens for the hospitality, healthcare and retail sectors since 1899, is one of the largest remaining manufacturers of bed linens in the USA. With over 100 years of experience in the textile industry, Thomaston Mills has been honored to be a known as a quick turnaround supplier during difficult times.

Now, with the ramp up of beds in hospitals and the conversion of hotels to shelters and healthcare facilities, they are ready with large quantities of bed and bath supplies. The company workforce is following CDC guidelines and is prepared with strategies to quickly ship product. They have thousands of flat, fitted, draw and surgical sheets and pillowcases in stock, available for immediate purchase. Towels, washcloths and hand towels are also in inventory ready for quick shipment. Thomaston plants in Georgia and South Carolina have millions of yards of fabric available to use for manufacturing all custom requirements which can be shipped in as little as 1 week.

GSA schedule contracts are available for companies looking to supply government facilities.

Thomaston hopes everyone stays healthy and safe during this difficult time and wants to thank all of the healthcare workers for their service.

For more information, please contact:

Timothy Voit
Chief Marketing Officer
Email: tvoit(at)thomastonmills(dot)com
Web: thomastonmills.com
135 Greenwood Avenue
Wyncote PA 19095 USA
Phone: 1-877-474-3300 ext 2336

About Thomaston Mills
Thomaston Mills prides itself on crafting quality linens with a focus on its customers. A leading manufacturer of quality linens since 1899, they are one of the largest manufacturers of Hospitality and Healthcare bed linens in the USA.

Monday, March 23, 2020

USTR to Consider China 301 Exclusions for Medical Care Products

In imposing tariffs on goods from China as part of the Section 301 action, the United States determined to not impose tariffs on certain critical products such as ventilators, oxygen masks, and nubilators. In addition, over the past year, USTR granted exclusions for a large number of health-related products. Notably, the imposition of tariffs on certain Chinese imports has not resulted in an overall decline in the availability of needed medical equipment and supplies. In fact, U.S. imports in 2019 of all critical medical and pharmaceutical products were up over 20 percent since 2017, before Section 301 tariffs were imposed.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, USTR and the Department of Health and Human Services worked together to ensure that critical medicines and other essential medical products were not subject to additional Section 301 tariffs, including parts needed for MRI devices, combined PET/CT scanners, certain radiation therapy equipment, air purification equipment, and parts of homecare beds; sterile electrosurgical tools; digital clinical thermometers; and more.

In a notice scheduled for publication in the March 25, 2020, Federal Register the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is requesting public comments on possible further modifications to remove duties from additional medicalcare products.