Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brassieres Knit to Shape in Turkey and Assembled in Jordan are Not Eligible for Jordan FTA

On November 20, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a Binding Ruling Letter (N258452) relating to the tariff classification and country of origin determination for a woman's brassiere. The Ruling was in response to a request from the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on behalf of their client, Eurotex.

The article in question is a seamless brassiere constructed from what the label states is 75% cotton, 14% nylon, and 8% spandex. The brassiere features a change in knit pattern in the bust and elastic edging in the neck and arm holes.

The manufacturing operations for the brassiere are as follows:

  • Israeli/USA yarn will be imported into Turkey.

  • Knit tubular seamless panels with lines of demarcation and a self-start bottom are produced in Turkey and then dyed in Turkey.

  • The knit tubular seamless panels will be sent to Jordan where they will be cut along lines of demarcation, elastic attached, sewn, printed and packed.

  • The finished garment will be shipped directly to the United States.

Customs ruled that the applicable subheading is 6212.10.9010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"), which provides for brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof, whether or not knitted or crocheted: brassieres: other: other…of cotton. The general rate of duty will be 16.9% ad valorem.

Customs also found that the brassieres were knit-to-shape in Turkey. By application of section 102.21(c)(3)(i), the country of origin is Turkey and not eligible for benefits under the U.S.-Jordan Trade Agreement.

Canada Deeply Concerned with U.S. Attempt to Apply Buy American Restrictions to Project at Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia

This Federal funded project will consist of the removal and replacement of the Prince Rupert ferry terminal facility that is owned by the Prince Rupert Port Authority and leased by the Alaska's Department of Transporation. The work includes: Demolition and removal of all existing marine terminal structures and construction of a new, modern ferry terminal facility

This work is funded by the United States Government through the Federal Highway Administration and the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. All iron and steel products associated with this project are subject to the provisions of the Buy America Provisions, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 23 CFR 635.410. Reference Section 106-1.01 of the Special Provisions.

The Engineer's Estimate is between $10,000,000 and $15,000,000. All work shall be completed by March 1, 2016.

Yesterday the Honourable Ed Fast, Canadian Minister of International Trade, today issued the following statement:

“We are aware of and deeply concerned by the attempt by the U.S. to apply Buy American restrictions to a project at the Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

“Taxpayers on both sides of the border would benefit from dismantling the trade barriers and inefficiencies created by U.S. protectionist policies such as Buy America. “On behalf of Canadian industry, our government has consistently opposed Buy American restrictions and will continue to do so.

“We are exploring all options to address this situation.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Afghanistan National Police Field Jacket Contract Awarded

Sterlingwear of Boston, Inc., East Boston, Massachusetts, has been awarded a maximum $6,835,520 firm-fixed-price contract for Afghanistan uniformed police field jackets. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and three offers were received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Massachusetts, with a Nov. 24, 2015, performance completion date. Using services are Afghanistan National Police. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds and foreign military sales. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-15-D-1008).

Happy Thanksgiving from Agathon Associates

Agathon Associates, will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 27th and 28th, in celebration of Thanksgiving Day, a major holiday in the United States.

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor…I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be…”
George Washington, 1789 (from the first National Thanksgiving Day Presidential Proclamation)

The Pilgrims, Puritans, Huguenots, Quakers, Anabaptists, Lutherans, Jews, Catholics, deists, and atheists who came to America in the colonial period found here freedom not possible in the lands of the Old World where an established church was the norm. Their descendents founded the United States on a radical and untried principle—no religious establishment and no government interference with religion. What a surprise then to find that the very first Presidential Proclamation issued was Washington’s Thanksgiving Day call to prayer to Almighty God.

Indeed, the only distinctly American holiday is the fourth Thursday in November, which we set aside to thank God for our blessings. Think about it. Christmas is celebrated worldwide, even in lands where Christians are a small minority. Every nation celebrates New Year’s Day and the various national holidays commemorating great leaders, important battles, and the date of national founding.

Our distinctly American national holiday is a re-enactment—and re-interpretation for contemporary multi-ethnic and multi-religious American culture—of that first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, celebrated by survivors of the Mayflower passage. And, yet, the story is not narrowly the tale of the Pilgrims. Few Americans are literally Mayflower descendents. Most of us do not trace our roots to East Anglia. Most of us do not follow their reformed Calvinist religion. Nevertheless, their story is the American story. It is the story of families that left their homeland for a better life in America.

Did your people come here on sailing ships in the 17th, 18th, or 19th century? Or were they part of the big steamship migration of the late 19th and early 20th century that filled Boston with Irish and Italians? Or perhaps you are a more recent immigrant. Whenever your people came here and by whatever means, they, and you, are part of the narrative we re-tell every Thanksgiving.

"Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol" at American Textile History Museum

Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol, November 21, 2014 - March 29, 2015, American Textile History Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts.

In its exclusive U.S. debut, Picasso to Warhol traces the history of 20th century art in textiles. Highlights include work by Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.

The exhibition features examples of key European and American art movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, Abstraction, Surrealism and Pop Art; as well as the work of leading fashion designers and manufacturers. With over 200 rare pieces, Picasso to Warhol shows how ordinary people were once able to engage with modern art in a personal and intimate way through their clothing and home furnishings.

Thursday, December 4, 2014, Opening Event and Curator Talk
5:00pm - 6:30pm public tours of the exhibition.
5:30pm private reception for members and VIP guests.
6:30pm presentation by Picasso to Warhol curators Geoff­rey Rayner and Richard Chamberlain of London's Target Gallery.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Federal Business Opportunities, Monday, November 24, 2014

Recently posted federal business opportunities.
Title:             Non-Developmental Extreme Cold Weather Aviation Boot System
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
Title:             Composite Safety-Toe Footwear
Agency:            Department of Justice
Office:            Bureau of Prisons
Title:             83--Auditorium Stage Drapery and Installation    
Agency:            Department of Veterans Affairs
Title:             83--CLOTH,DUCK
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Fire Fighting PPE
Agency:            Department of Homeland Security

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Army and Air Force Parka Contract Awarded

Coachys and Associates, LLC, Canton, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $10,281,250 firm-fixed-price contract for extreme cold/wet weather parkas. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and four offers were received. This is a one-year base contract. Locations of performance are Georgia and Tennessee, with a Nov. 20, 2015, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-15-D-1010).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Federal Business Opportunities, Friday, November 21, 2014

Recently posted federal business opportunities.
Title:             83--Mattress encasements
Agency:            Department of the Army
Title:             84--3XL Navy Blue Pajama Tops and Bottoms    
Agency:            Department of Veterans Affairs
Title:             SHIRT, FLAME RESISTANT, ARAMID PGC#04004
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Z-Flex Cloth
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Quick Donning Anti-Exposure Suit
Agency:            Department of the Navy
Title:             84--KIT BAG,UNIVERSAL P
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Matress, Bed
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--506-15-1-121-0007 - SHIRTS/UNIFORMS    
Agency:            Department of Veterans Affairs
Title:             83--PAJAMAS    
Agency:            Department of Veterans Affairs
Title:             84--506-15-1-121-0007 - SHIRTS/UNIFORMS    
Agency:            Department of Veterans Affairs

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

DR-CAFTA Short Supply Request Filed Relating to Certain 100% Polyester Composite Laminated Fabric

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("CITA") is considering a Commercial Availability Request for certain 100% polyester composite laminated fabric, file number as specified below.

Responses are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), December 3, 2014. Rebuttals are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), December 9, 2014.

SPECIFICATIONS: Certain 100% Polyester Composite Laminated Fabric

Fabric Type: Composite fabric consisting of a 3-layered fleece/shell construction, woven outer layer and brushed inner layer, bonded with a PU membrane

HTS: 6001.22

Woven Face Fabric:
Fiber Content: 100% Polyester
Yarn Size (single ply, warp and filling):
Textured polyester: 323.0 to 343.0 decitex/144 F (31.0 to 29.0 Nm/144 F) (291 to 309 denier/144 F)
Thread Count: 57 – 61 warp ends per inch by 55 - 59 filling picks per inch; 22 – 24 warp ends per centimeter by 21 – 23
filling picks per centimeter
Weave type: Plain weave
Weight: 156.8 g/m2 to 204.8 g/m2 (4.6 to 6.0 oz./yd2)
Finish: Woven face - piece dyed and/or printed; Woven back - piece dyed

Circular Double Knit Fleece Back Pile Fabric:
Fiber content: 100% polyester
Yarn Size (single ply): 81.0 to 86.0 decitex (73.0 to 78.0 Denier) (124.0 to 116.0 Nm)
Weave type: circular double knit looped pile
Weight: 157.1 to 173.2 g/m2 (4.6 to 5.1 oz./yd2)
Finish: Knit face - piece dyed; Knit back - piece dyed

Composite fabric:
Weight: 355.3 to 405.4 g/m2 (10.5 to 12.0 oz./yd2)
Width: 130 cm wide (51.18 inches)
Finish: Full contact bonding

Windproof: ASTM D737 – Initial = 1.0 cfm – 3x Wash = 1.0 cfm
Durable Water Resistant: AATCC 22 – Initial = 90 Points – 10x Wash = 70 Points
High Light Fastness: AATCC 16 Opt 3 – Class 3.0 @ 40 Hours AFU
Low Range Hydrostatic: JIS1092 –
Initial 20,000 mm – 3x Wash 20,000 mm; AATCC127 – Initial 20,000 mm – 3x Wash 20,000 mm
Water Vapour Permeability: JIS 1099 – Initial 20,000 g/m2/24hr – 3x Wash 20,000 g/m2/24hr
Water Vapour Transmission: ASTM E96 B – Initial 500 g/m2/24hr – 3x Wash 500 g/m2/24hr

Remarks: Ranges above allow for a variance of up to five percent for fabric weight, thread count and three percent for yarn size.

NOTE: The yarn size designations describe a range of yarn specifications for yarn before knitting, dyeing and finishing of the fabric. They are intended as specifications to be followed by the mill in sourcing yarn used to produce the fabric. Dyeing, finishing and knitting can alter the characteristic of the yarn as it appears in the finished fabric. This specification therefore includes yarns appearing in the finished fabric as finer or coarser than the designated yarn sizes provided that the variation occurs after processing of the greige yarn and production of the fabric. The specifications for the fabric apply to the fabric itself prior to cutting and sewing of the finished garment. Such processing may alter the measurements.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Catching Up

This week I will focus on issued patents.  Below is a summary of selected patents that have been recently issued in textile related classification codes:

Devices for use during physical activity:  A garment with two different elastic supports.  The first elastic support structure protects the wearer from injury.  The second elastic support structure provides tactile feedback regarding body position for training purposes.  Patent:  8707463.  Inventor:  Orloff.  Assignee.  Samara Innovations LLC.

Surgical garment:  A surgical garment includes an undergarment and an outer garment configured to be worn over the undergarment. The undergarment includes a brassiere.  The outer garment includes a torso portion and removable shoulder portions.  Patent:  8707464.  Inventor:  Trenhaile.  Assignee:  Rockford Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Services, LLC

Yank and draw concealed carry garment:  A garment adapted for concealed carry weapons users wherein a pull grasp extends outside the garment from an opening in the garment front which leads to a passageway through the garment.   When the pull grasp is yanked downward, the lower section of the garment is raised and allows access to the weapon. The passageway comprises a tunnel adapted to receive the pull and is affixed to the lower seam of the garment.  Patent:  8707465.  Inventor:  Reynolds.  Not Assigned.

Concealed carry garment:  Sister patent to 8707465 above.  Patent 8707466.  Inventor:  Reynolds.  Not assigned.

Caregiver cover:  A torus shaped bib for use by care givers when caring for babies.  Patent:  8707467.  Sohn.  Not assigned.

Protective garment with tourniquet:  A protective garment including a waist portion adapted to be donned proximate the waist of a wearer and first and second leg portions extending from a waist portion to at least proximate a knee portion of the wearer and a tourniquet member attached to an inner surface of at least one of said first and second leg portions.  Intended for use by military and people who work in hazardous situations.  Patent:  8707468.  Inventor:  Reynolds,  Assignee:  Med Eng LLC.

Concealed smartphone pocket:   A concealed safety pocket in a garment for securely carrying a smart phone and a method for making same. The safety pocket provides a separate storage place for carrying a smart phone where it can be found quickly. The safety pocket has a closure that prevents the smart phone from sliding out or falling out of a pocket, but providing quick access through the easily opened closure. The safety pocket attaches to a waistband and an open side seam, the closure of the pocket completing the side seam.  Patent:  8707469.  Inventor Moghaddas.  Not Assigned.

Protective hood having a shielded elastomeric gasket/seal for sealing engagement with the face piece/mask of a self-contained breathing apparatus or respirator:  A protective hood of a protective garment for use with a face piece or mask worn by a user. The hood includes an outer shell having a peripheral edge, and a gasket that extends from the peripheral edge to an interior of the hood for sealing with the face piece or mask.  The gasket is covered by the outer shell  of the hood when worn by a user.  Patent:  8707472.  Inventor:  Stachler,  Assignee:  Honeywell International Inc.

Sublimation transfer ink, method for producing a dyed article, and dyed article:  A sublimation transfer ink which can be discharged by an ink jet process that contains water, a sublimation dye, and a trehalose-based compound. The amount of the trehalose (type of sugar) in the sublimation transfer ink is preferably in the range of 3% to 20% by mass.  The trehalose is used to replace glycerol.  Patent 8709103.  Inventor:  Oguchi.  Assignee:  Seiko Epson Corporation

Dye-ascorbic acid derivatives:  An ascorbic acid base class of dyes, and method for their use, for use in dyeing skin, hair, nails or textiles.  Targeted to replace direct dyes and appears to be less likely to dehydrate the target fibers.  Patent:  8709104.  Inventor:  Rudolph and Buehle.  Assignee:  Merck Patent GMBH.

Method of customizing a linked article:  A method for mass manufacture of shoes using customized information provided by the customer.  Patent:  8707493.  Inventor:  Aveni.  Assignee:  Nike Inc.

Energy storage and return spring:  A spring shoe, and also the spring, used as method of returning energy to a user. In one embodiment, a method and apparatus stores foot strike energy and releases it after a slight delay, when it will exert a force on the user which includes a forward component. This is accomplished in an embodiment by a spring in the sole which has a decreasing spring force, such that the force required to compress the sole decreases for all or part of the compression displacement as the spring is compressed.  Patent:  8707582.   Inventors:  Klassen and Boehm.  Not assigned.

Method for operating multi-clothes styler system:  A cabinet for conditioning clothing.  The cabinet heats, water mists and vibrates the clothing stored in the cabinet.  Patent:  8707591.  Inventor:  Moon,  Assignee:  LG Electronics, Inc.

Short splice systems and methods for ropes:  A rope system and structure comprising an intact portion and a disassembled portion with loose strands. The loose strands are passed into an interior of the rope structure. Each loose strand is passed from the interior of the rope structure to an associated intact strand. Each loose strand is extended along and wrapped around its associated intact strand at least one wrap location.  Patent:  8707666.  Inventors:  Crozier and Laundry.  Assignee:  Samson Rope Technologies.

Textile machine with a plurality of workstations:  A device for feeding yarns into a loom or braider.  Patent:  8707667.  Inventor:  Heinen,  Assingee:  Oerlikon Textile Gmbh & Co. Kg

Wrapped yarns for use in ropes having predetermined surface characteristics:  A yarn that is a blend of at least two fibers with different friction coefficients.  The process takes advantage of the different friction coefficients to create improved abrasion resistance.  Patent:  8707668.  Inventor:  Gilmore,  Assignee:  Samson Rope Technologies.

Puncture resistant fabric:  A nonwoven fabric having a plurality of coated fibers, the coating including silane and dialdehyde, and, in certain embodiments, further including particles.  Patent:  8709959.  Inventor:  MacDonald,  Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.

Jim Carson is a principal of RB Consulting, Inc. and a registered patent agent.  He has over 30 years of experience across multiple industries including the biotechnology, textile, computer, telecommunications, and energy sectors.  RB Consulting, Inc. specializes in providing management, prototyping, and regulatory services to small and start-up businesses.  He can be reached via email at or by phone at (803) 792-2183.

Mohawk Recalls Rugs Due To Fire Hazard

Mohawk Recalls Rugs Due To Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at The Home Depot

Name of product: Altitude Gold shag rugs

Hazard: The large rugs fail to meet federal standards for flammability and could ignite, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. The small rugs fail to meet federal labeling requirements. Small rugs are not required to meet the federal flammability standard; however, they are required to be permanently labeled with the following statement: “FLAMMABLE (FAILS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE STANDARD FF 2-70): SHOULD NOT BE USED NEAR SOURCES OF IGNITION.”

Units: About 101,000 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and about 2,800 in Canada

Description: This recall involves large and small Altitude shag area rugs. Large rugs came in sizes 59 inches x 84 inches with SKU number 1000012476 or 1000037219, 72 inches x 120 inches with SKU number 1000012477 and 84 inches x 120 inches with SKU number 1000037220. Small rugs came in sizes 24 inches x 36 inches with SKU number 1000037217 and 24 inches x 48 inches with SKU number 1000037218. The rugs are made of polyester and were available in the color gold. “Altitude Gold”, the size and the SKU number are on a label on the underside of the product.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Remedy: Consumers should contact Mohawk to receive a refund for the large rugs and a warning label to be affixed to the underside of the small rugs.

Consumer Contact: Mohawk toll-free at (877) 737-8343 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at and click on “Safety Recall” in the “Customer Care” section at the bottom of the page.

Sold exclusively at: The Home Depot stores nationwide and online at from August 2013 through September 2014 for between $20 and $247.

Importer: Mohawk Industries Inc., of Calhoun, Ga.

Manufactured in: India.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Valid vs. Invalid vs. Defective NAFTA Certificate of Origin

Recently U.S. Customs and Border Protection clarified the meaning of the terms “valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin,” “invalid NAFTA Certificate of Origin” and “defective NAFTA Certificate of Origin”. Additionally, CBP reminded importers that preference will be denied when possession of a valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin at the time of the claim cannot be substantiated.

A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is valid if it:

  1. Lists the good in question
  2. Covers the period in question
  3. Includes the exporter’s or his agent’s signature in block 11a “Authorized Signature”
  4. Was in the importer’s possession at the time of the claim, as demonstrated by 1) a block 11e “Authorized Signature” date prior to the date of the preference claim, and 2) submission upon request of a CBP official

A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is invalid if it does not meet the aforementioned requirements.

A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is defective—and thus may be remedied in accordance with 19 CFR 181.22(c)—if, while meeting the conditions of a “Valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin,” above, contains other errors or omissions. These include, but are not limited to the following: illegibility, misclassification, incorrect or missing preference criteria, signature by an individual who cannot legally bind the company, typed or stamped signature, 3rd-country goods (in addition to NAFTA goods), Net Cost field error, single entry Certificate without an invoice or other unique reference numbers, or other similar errors or omissions.

In addition to defining the aforementioned terms, Customs reminded the trade that NAFTA preference will be denied if the importer does not possess a valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin at the time of the preference claim.

U.S. Executives Remain Bullish on American Manufacturing, Study Finds

Decision makers at large manufacturers expect the U.S. share of their production to rise an average of 7 percent in five years; half expect to boost U.S. factory jobs by 5 percent or more, according to latest Boston Consulting Group Manufacturing Survey.

FTC Approves Final Consent Settling Charges that Made in USA Brand, LLC Deceived Consumers

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order settling charges that a company providing a “Made in USA” certification seal to marketers did so without verifying the companies’ Made in USA claims, or disclosing that the companies had certified themselves.

First announced in July 2014, the settlement prohibits Made in USA Brand, LLC’s deceptive claims, and bars the company from providing the marketers it certifies with the means to deceive consumers.

Federal Business Opportunities, Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recently posted federal business opportunities.
Title:             Coveralls (Protective Clothing) for Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariners (CIVMARS)
Agency:            Department of the Navy
Title:             84--short sleeve shirts
Agency:            Department of Homeland Security
Title:             84--Pants
Agency:            Department of Homeland Security
Title:             84--BOOTS,SAFETY,MEN'S
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             83--FLAG,NATIONAL
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             SHIRT, FLAME RESISTANT, ARAMID PGC#04004
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--Men's and Women's hiking shoes (203 pair) Delivery Date: On or Before 12/8/2014   
Agency:            Department of Veterans Affairs
Title:             83--TENT, TEMPER AIR SUPPO
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Coveralls (Protective Clothing) for Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariners (CIVMARS)
Agency:            Department of the Navy
Title:             83--CLOTH,PARACHUTE
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             83--CLOTH,CHEESECLOTH
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection (SPS TEP) Soft Ballistic Armor
Agency:            Department of the Army
Title:             Mattresses
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--UNIVERSAL PARACHUTE
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             83--Mattress encasements
Agency:            Department of the Army

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

Air Force Clothing Contract Awarded

Excel Garment Manufacturing LTD, El Paso, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $7,189,424 firm-fixed-price modification (P00106) exercising the first option year to one-year base contract (SPM1C1-14-D-1006) with four one-year option periods for men's and women's coats and trousers. Location of performance is Texas with a Nov. 19, 2015, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Army Personnel Complied With the Berry Amendment But Can Improve Compliance With the Buy American Act

On November 7, 2014, the Inspector General, Department of Defense, issued the report Army Personnel Complied With the Berry Amendment But Can Improve Compliance With the Buy American Act.


Army Contracting Command (ACC) personnel at three locations substantially complied with the Berry Amendment for 29 of the 33 contracts reviewed, with an obligated value of about $124.6 million. However, ACC contracting personnel did not include the Berry Amendment implementing clause within the basic contract for 4 of the 33 contracts, but took corrective actions to add the required clause.

ACC contracting personnel can improve compliance with the Buy American Act. For 50 Buy American Act contracts with an obligated value of about $4.7 million, ACC contracting personnel:

  • did not complete required component assessments for 23 contracts because for 16 contracts they did not differentiate between commercial and commercial off‑the-shelf items and for 7 contracts because they relied upon contractor assertions not specific to the items under contract;

  • omitted the Buy American Act implementing clause in 4 contracts; and

  • issued a contract for goods from a non-qualifying country.

As a result, ACC contracting personnel could not demonstrate that all the procured items complied with domestic content requirement, and suppliers could have provided noncompliant items. Additionally, ACC contracting personnel may have committed an Antideficiency Act violation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Textile Program at Univ. of Rhode Island Endorsed by Apparel and Footwear Group

The University of Rhode Island program in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design ("TMD") was recently endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association ("AAFA"). Other schools endorsed by the AAFA can be found here at Endorsement means TMD students will be eligible for scholarships through the Fashion Scholarship Fund. See this link:

Federal Business Opportunities, Thursday, November 13, 2014

Recently posted federal business opportunities.
Title:             Cold Weather Parkas
Agency:            Department of the Navy
Title:             83--FLAG,NATIONAL
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Coveralls (Protective Clothing) for Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariners (CIVMARS)
Agency:            Department of the Navy
Title:             Navy, Overcoat (Peacoat), Man's and Woman's
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             ACU/OCP Sun Hat; NWU Boonie Cover
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Lifeguard Apparel
Agency:            Department of the Interior
Title:             Gloves, Chemical and Oil Protective (Otto Fuel)
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--GLOVES,CHEMICAL 
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--APRON,WELDER'S
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Battlefield Airman Management System (BAMS) Equipment`
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
Title:             BRIEFS, WOMEN'S, BLACK
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             84--Pants
Agency:            Department of Homeland Security
Office:            Immigration & Customs Enforcement
Title:             84--short sleeve shirts
Agency:            Department of Homeland Security
Office:            Immigration & Customs Enforcement
Title:             84--Undergarment Clothing
Agency:            Department of Homeland Security
Office:            Immigration & Customs Enforcement
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Title:             Inclement Weather Combat Shirt (IWCS)
Agency:            Department of the Navy

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

EPA Seeks Industry Comments on Mineral Fiber Regs

On November 13, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register (79 FR 68011) NESHAP Risk and Technology Review for the Mineral Wool and Wool Fiberglass Industries; NESHAP for Wool Fiberglass Area Sources; Proposed Rule. Comments must be received on or before December 15, 2014.

OSHA Seeks Comments on Cotton Dust Standard Information Collection Requirements

On November 13, 2014, the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration published in the Federal Register (79 FR 67462) Cotton Dust Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements. Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by January 12, 2015.

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

  • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

  • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

  • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

OSHA is requesting to increase its current burden hours from 20,558 to 22,381 hours, a total increase of 1,823 hours. Although the cost of exposure monitoring sampling increased slightly from $19 to $20, there was a $14,976 increase in the overall cost of sampling (from $79,344 to $94,320). Further, although the cost of a medical exam increased from $175 to $187, there was a $976,550 increase in the overall cost of medical exams (from $2,369,850 to $2,848,384), as a result of the increase in the number of medical exams.

What Does a Patent Cost?

Predicting patent costs is like predicting the outcome of a negotiation -- there are a lot of unknowns.  What will the negotiating process (USPTO procedures) be?  What will the final agreement (claims) look like?  In the end will this be a deal worth doing (a patent worth having)?  And the biggest unknown of all is: will you even reach an agreement (get a patent)? 

But accountants, shareholders, clients, bosses, and spouses do not care about unknowns. 

So let’s get to the number:  $20,000.

Using middle range representation, textile and apparel companies probably spend $20,000 to get a U.S. utility patent to protect a simple innovation.  They might have spent less. They could easily have spent a lot more. 

This number is built from four components:  the fees paid by patent holders to the US Patent and Trademark Office, estimated representation fees required to prosecute the patent through the USPTO, search and drawing costs, and a fee increase adjustment.  It does not include maintenance fees over the life of the patent.

I began with 223 patents that were issued in the period between August 20th, 2013 and October 7th, 2014.  These patents were selected as a random sample of all patents issued in textile related classification codes.  The USPTO fees paid for these patents were pulled from public records.  For our purposes, the fees were adjusted to remove the impact of small entity discounts.  In addition, the fees were analyzed to determine the USPTO procedures required to get a patent issued.

In addition to normal procedures, 40% of the patents required continued examinations, 5% of the patents required an appeal, and 25% of the patents faced restrictions that effectively required the invention to be split into two applications.  

Representation fees were estimated from a sample of 10 firms that were found on the internet.  Using the information available on these websites, representation fees were determined for each firm to perform the USPTO processes required by the sample patents.  The median fee was selected for these processes.

A quick review of companies that do patent searches and patent drawings revealed that if the patent really is simple and straight forward, you can get a search and 3-5 drawings for $1,300.  This is the number that was used.

Finally, I added $620 to reflect USPTO application fee increases from 2011, the year when many of the applications were filed.

When you add this all up, patents incurred estimated expenses of $12,500 in representation fees, $5,640 in USPTO fees, and $1,300 in drawing and search fees for a total estimated cost of $19,440. 

Below is a summary of selected patents that have been recently issued in textile related classification codes:

Modified binders for making fiberglass products:  Binder compositions for making fiberglass products. The binder compositions include a phenol-aldehyde resin or a mixture of Maillard reactants and one or more modifiers selected from a group consisting of one or more vinyl aromatic derived (copolymer) units and at least one of maleic anhydride and maleic acid; an adduct of styrene, at least one of maleic anhydride and maleic acid, and at least one of an acrylic acid and an acrylate; and one or more latexes.  Patent:  8703628.  Inventor:  Tutin,  Assignee:  Georgia-Pacific Chemcicals LLC

Fire barrier fabric for use with articles:  A multilayer fire barrier fabric further where the fire barrier layer provides flame-retardant and/or flame-resistant properties to the entire fabric without requiring fabric coatings or treatments to provide additional contributions to flame resistance.  The fabric can be used for upholstered articles and mattresses.  Patent:  8703631.  Inventor:  Sytz.  Assignee:  Murtzco, Llc

Moisture management support garment with a denier differential mechanism:  A moisture management fabric using a denier differential to facilitate the movement of sweat away from the wearer's body. The denier differential relies upon a facing layer and a back layer with substantially different yarn thickness and fabric porosity to achieve fluid transport.  Patent 8702469.  Inventors:  Hurd and Sokolowski.  Assignee:  Nike Inc.

Pre-encased underwire assembly:  An improved encasement for underwires for use in brassieres that allows for more efficient sewing, better durability, and improved wearer comfort.  Patent:  8702470.  Inventor:  Boser.  Assignee:  Apparel Machinery Services, Inc.

Jim Carson is a principal of RB Consulting, Inc. and a registered patent agent.  He has over 30 years of experience across multiple industries including the biotechnology, textile, computer, telecommunications, and energy sectors.  RB Consulting, Inc. specializes in providing regulatory, management and prototyping services to small and start-up businesses.  He can be reached via email at or by phone at (803) 792-2183.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Call for Papers: The 13th International Wool Research Conference & AATCC Sustainability Symposium

June 10-12, 2015                               

Zhejiang Sci-Tech University

Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China


IWRC 13th: Innovation, Ecology and Quality:

The Pathway to the Wool Future

"Innovation, Ecology and Quality: The Pathway to the Wool Future" is the theme of the three-day conference hosted and organized by Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU), which will cover invited keynote speakers as well as oral and poster presentations. The International Wool Research Conference (IWRC 13th) serves as an important exchange platform for academic experts, scientists, and engineers, as well as product developers from all over the world on wool and other related fields. The International Wool Research Conference has been hosted every 5 years around the world since the first conference in 1955 in Melbourne, Australia. IWRC 13th will honor that history and keep in touch with current developments.


Individuals are invited to submit original papers related to the science and engineering of wool fibers to IWRC 13th. Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • Wool Structure and Analysis Techniques
  • Raw Wool Processing Technology
  • Wool Spinning and Weaving Science and Technology
  • Dyeing and Finishing for Wool Fibers, Textiles, and Apparel
  • Design and Manufacturing Technology for Wool Apparel
  • Fabric Care Technology for Wool Apparel
  • Eco-textile Chemicals
  • Environmental Treatment and Waste Reclamation
  • Science and Engineering Related to Wool (Hair Cosmetic Chemistry, Leather Science and Engineering)

Innovation, Sustainability, and Quality: The Pathway to the Future

The AATCC Sustainability Symposium, hosted by Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU) and organized by ZSTU and AATCC, will be held in parallel with IWRC 13th.  AATCC is the world’s largest scientific and technical society for textile chemistry and dyeing and finishing engineering.


With the symposium's theme of "Innovation, Sustainability, and Quality: The Pathway to the Future," individuals are invited to submit original papers related to, but not limited to:

  • Novel Eco-textile Materials
  • Eco-friendly Textile Composites and Industrial Textiles
  • Green Dyeing & Finishing Chemicals and Processes
  • Energy Saving and Emission Reduction Technology
  • Pollution Control and Waste Treatment
  • Non-Water Medium Dyeing and Finishing
  • Textile Recycling Technology
  • Smart Textiles
  • Digital Printing and 3D Printing
  • Fundamental Research and Characterization Techniques

Paper Submissions

Submitted papers must be original and not be submitted to any other conference or journal. Paper submission guidelines will be available at both the IWRC 13th and AATCC websites. Submitted papers will be published in "The Proceedings of the 13th International Wool Research Conference and AATCC Sustainability Symposium," which will be indexed in Scientific & Technical Proceedings (ISTP), and selected high-quality papers will be published in journals indexed by EI.


Please indicate your submission preference to either the IWRC 13th or the AATCC Sustainability Symposium (AATCC SS).


Important dates

Abstract Submission due:  February 1, 2015

Acceptance Notification due:  February 15, 2015

Paper Submission due:  April 15, 2015

Final Paper due:  May 15, 2015

CPSC Staff to Meet with FR Fiber Producer

On Thursday, November 13, 2014, Rik Khanna of the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction and other CPSC staff will meet with Steve Wolf and Kenny Oliver from Jones Fiber Products, Inc., a manufacturer of fire resistant fiber products, to discuss confidential, propriety information and possible performance improvements of their products.

International Trade Commission Launches Investigation of Alleged Trademark Infringement Involving Footwear

The U.S. International Trade Commission ("USITC") has voted to institute an investigation of certain footwear products. The products at issue in this investigation are shoes that allegedly infringe or dilute registered and common law trademarks used in connection with certain Converse shoes, such as the Chuck Taylor All Star Shoe.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Converse Inc. ("Converse") of North Andover, MA, on October 14, 2014. The complaint, as amended, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain footwear products that infringe or dilute registered and common law trademarks asserted by Converse. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, and a cease and desist order.

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

  • Skechers U.S.A., Inc. of Manhattan Beach, CA;
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. of Bentonville, AR;
  • A-List, Inc., d/b/a Kitson, of Los Angeles, CA;
  • Aldo Group of Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
  • Brian Lichtenberg, LLC of Los Angeles, CA;
  • Cmerit USA, Inc., d/b/a Gotta Flurt, of Chino, CA;
  • Dioniso SRL of Perugia, Italy;
  • Edamame Kids, Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada;
  • Esquire Footwear, LLC of New York, NY;
  • FILA U.S.A., Inc. of Sparks, MD;
  • Fortune Dynamic, Inc. of City of Industry, CA;
  • Gina Group, LLC of New York, NY;
  • H & M Hennes & Mauritz LP of New York, NY;
  • Highline United LLC, d/b/a/Ash Footwear USA, of New York, NY;
  • Hitch Enterprises Pty Ltd, d/b/a Skeanie, of Mittagong, New South Wales, Australia;
  • Iconix Brand Group, Inc., d/b/a Ed Hardy, of New York, NY;
  • Kmart Corporation of Hoffman Estates, IL;
  • Mamiye Imports LLC, d/b/a Lilly of New York, of Brooklyn, NY;
  • Nowhere Co., Ltd., d/b/a Bape, of Tokyo, Japan;
  • OPPO Original Corp. of City of Industry, CA;
  • Orange Clubwear, Inc., d/b/a Demonia Deviant, of Westminster, CA;
  • Ositos Shoes, Inc., d/b/a Collection'O, of South El Monte, CA;
  • PW Shoes Inc. of Maspeth, NY;
  • Ralph Lauren Corporation of New York, NY;
  • Shenzhen Foreversun Industrial Co., Ltd. (a/k/a Shenzhen Foreversun Shoes Co., Ltd) of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China;
  • Shoe Shox, c/o Zulily, Inc., of Seattle, WA;
  • Tory Burch LLC of New York, NY;
  • Zulily, Inc. of Seattle, WA;
  • Fujian Xinya I&E Trading Co. Ltd. of Jinjiang, Fujian Province, China;
  • Zhejiang Ouhai International Trade Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China; and
  • Wenzhou Cereals Oils and Foodstuffs Foreign Trade Co. Ltd. of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-936), 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.

Paul T. O’Day Scholarship Program

The American Fiber Manufacturers Association ("AFMA") has announced the opening of the application process for the 2015 Paul T. O’Day Scholarship.

The AFMA Board of Directors established the scholarship program to honor Mr. O’Day who has served as AFMA’s President for three decades. The scholarship will be awarded to a candidate from an AFMA member company for studies in support of the American fiber industry.

Scholarship recipients receive a $5,000 award each year, totaling $20,000 for four years of study. Parents or guardian of an applying child must be an employee of an AFMA member company and/or organization. Students eligible for this scholarship may be high school seniors or students currently attending a college, university or technical school. Applicants must meet certain academic requirements to qualify. Financial need will be considered, but not as the primary basis for selection.

Any qualified applicants can contact Diane Bayatafshar with questions. The deadline to submit application is: Friday, February 6, 2015.

The AFMA Board of Directors will announce the 2015 scholarship recipient at its June 2015 meeting in Washington, D.C.

For more information, please contact Ms. Diane Bayatafshar at

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders

On Monday, November 10, 2014, the negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership ("TPP") free trade agreement released a report to the the leaders of the twelve TPP nations. The report is reproduced below in full.

Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders

November 10, 2014

Since the last TPP Leaders meeting a year ago, the 12 TPP Ministers and our negotiating teams have made significant progress in setting the stage to finalize an historic, ambitious, comprehensive, balanced, and high-standard TPP agreement in accordance with the instructions you gave us in Bali last year.  Over the past several months, we have concentrated on working together to resolve the remaining issues between us, and, as a result of this work, the number of outstanding issues is now limited, and the pace of our progress has accelerated.  With the end coming into focus, Ministers are strongly committed to moving the negotiations forward to conclusion.  Our determination is based on a recognition of Leaders’ common vision and their joint commitment to a next-generation, transformative agreement that further increases the trade and investment among us, and sets high-standard rules to address the issues that our businesses, workers, and farmers face in the 21st-century global economy.  We also are working to achieve the Leaders’ objective of ensuring that the TPP promotes innovation, enhances our competitiveness, spurs economic growth and prosperity, supports job creation in our countries and ensures that the benefits of the agreement are broadly shared among our citizens.  

Ministers have been actively engaging, and we have developed a joint work plan to accelerate the process and agree on mutually acceptable outcomes on the remaining challenges. Key among these is identifying the pathway to conclusion of ambitious packages of commitments that will open our markets to each other, including for goods, services, investment, financial services, temporary entry of businesses persons, and government procurement.  We also are continuing to seek solutions on the remaining issues in the text of the agreement, including related to intellectual property, State-owned enterprises, environment, and investment.  Ministers made further progress in narrowing the gaps between us on these issues in Beijing, and our discussions will guide the work of our negotiating teams in the weeks ahead.  However, sensitive and challenging issues remain that will require our continued involvement. 

As we work to find solutions to the remaining issues, we will continue to seek the detailed input of stakeholders as their perspectives have been invaluable to our efforts to understand the wide-ranging views and perspectives on many issues under negotiation.  Ministers will continue to work to craft an agreement that carefully balances the range of interests for each country in order to achieve an agreement that provides broadly shared benefits for all our citizens. 

We have reviewed our progress toward achieving the objectives that Leaders articulated for TPP, which will ensure the greatest benefit from the agreement, distinguish TPP from other trade agreements, and serve to boost the competitiveness of our economies regionally and globally. 

Comprehensive Market Access

Ministers and the 12 TPP negotiating teams continue to focus on achieving our goal of an ambitious, high-standard market access package that provides comprehensive, commercially meaningful and duty-free access to each other’s goods markets and simultaneously lifts restrictions on services, investment, financial services, temporary entry of business persons, and government procurement. 

  • On goods market access, TPP countries are working to finalize tariff packages with one another.  Trade among us already accounts for about one-third of total global trade, and we are seeking ambitious market-opening outcomes that can further increase opportunities for our companies, farmers, workers, and consumers.  Efforts to achieve this goal are well advanced among many countries, but work remains on the treatment of certain products and with regard to certain countries.  We are focusing intensively on finding ways to address these products while ensuring that the goals Leaders set for ambition are met, and that we achieve outcomes that result in sustained, commercially-meaningful market access for each of us.   
  • On market access for services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry of business persons, work continues as well.  Services trade among us already accounts for nearly one-third of total global services trade, and Ministers recognize the critical part that market liberalization in these areas can play in promoting efficiency, competition, and the development of the economic infrastructure needed to ensure that the full benefits of the TPP can be realized.  We also have made significant progress on commitments seeking to eliminate barriers to investment, which we recognize play an important role in driving trade flows and regional supply chains, and we have agreed to couple those with a new, strong standard of protections to preserve governments’ ability to regulate in the public interest.  Since last year, we have moved much closer to conclusion of packages on these issues, but some outstanding work remains to ensure a high-standard outcome for all countries consistent with Leaders’ objectives. 

Regional Agreement

Since the TPP Leaders last met, we have significantly advanced our work on promoting integrated regional trade that will make trade between us more seamless, supporting jobs by making it much easier for our workers and businesses, both large and small, to take advantage of the agreement.  Exporters, importers and investors are seeking fairness and predictability so by setting common high-standard, transparent, and balanced rules across the region, we are promoting trade and investment among us.

  • The 12 countries have made substantial progress on common rules of origin on the majority of products, which is critical to facilitating and strengthening production and supply chains between us.  We have set out a plan for concluding the remaining work to complete the rules of origin that support seamless supply chains. 
  • To support the development of value chains among TPP members, our teams are far along toward agreement on such issues as customs, trade facilitation and logistics, which will cut the red tape of trade and make it faster, cheaper, and easier for businesses to get their products to market.  We also are working to finalize cooperation commitments to support each other’s efforts to stop smuggling and illegal transshipments, so we can be sure that the benefits of the agreement flow to businesses and workers from the TPP Parties.  
  • To further promote the integration of regional trade, we also are near agreement on ways to eliminate non-tariff barriers, which have increasingly replaced tariff barriers as the key obstacle businesses face in accessing foreign markets, and on work to promote cooperation on approaches to regulatory issues.  At the same time, we all have been careful to do so in a way that preserves our governments’ ability to protect the public interest, including on health, safety, and environmental protection. 

New Trade Issues

To help sustain the future dynamism and competitiveness of our economies, we have made significant progress toward developing common approaches to new issues that have emerged in the global economy since the last generation of trade agreements.  In developing rules on these issues, we have approached them in a serious and careful manner.  We are close to agreement in these new areas.

  • Recognizing the economic potential of the Internet, including for small businesses looking to reach new markets, and noting that the number of Internet users worldwide has proliferated in the past several years and will only continue to grow, we are far along in reaching agreement on rules that will promote the development of the digital economy, in a manner consistent with governments’ legitimate public policy interests, such as regulating for the purpose of privacy protection. 
  • We also have advanced our work to promote fair competition among us, including by establishing rules to ensure that State-owned enterprises and private-sector businesses are able to compete on a level playing field.  This pioneering work on TPP will reinforce efforts by many of our governments to promote efficiency and the competitiveness of our economies.
  • We appreciate that innovation is an important source of benefits for our people and growth and competitiveness for our economies, and have worked hard to develop balanced commitments on intellectual property that promote and share the benefits of innovation.   This is one of the most complex and challenging areas of the agreement, but we have made substantial progress in developing common approaches that will promote creative and technological advances that will benefit all of us.  We also have worked hard to strike an appropriate balance that ensures our citizens’ access to medicines and to fair use of on-line content, and that reflects the diversity of TPP economies. 
  • Recognizing the commitment of all TPP countries to strong environmental protection and conservation, we have made progress toward agreement on a set of enforceable environmental disciplines. 
  • To ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly shared, we are close to agreement on a set of enforceable commitments on labour rights that embody key ILO labour rights.

Cross-Cutting Trade Issues

The 12 teams are close to finalizing our work on cross-cutting issues that we believe are important to fully achieving the goals Leaders have set for TPP, and maximizing the potential benefits for our citizens from all the provisions of the agreement. 

  • Reinforcing other work in the agreement on standards and various regulatory issues, we have agreed on ways to improve our regulatory practices and encourage regulatory coherence, including through measures to promote transparency and conduct regulatory processes in a more trade-facilitative manner.
  • To promote further integration and competitiveness, we are near conclusion on work to deepen production and supply chains, and to ensure that the provisions of the agreement promote jobs in our markets.
  • Recognizing the important role that small- and medium-sized enterprises play in all our economies, we have agreed on ways to ensure that these businesses, which account for much of the job creation in many of our countries, can take full advantage of the agreement.
  • In order to ensure that increased trade and investment go hand in hand with benefits for our citizens, we have worked to develop commitments to ensure transparency and good governance, and strengthen anti-corruption efforts.
  • Promoting development and capacity building of current and future TPP countries is key to the success of the TPP, and we have agreed on ways to ensure that all 12 countries can realize the benefits of the agreement, including by provision of capacity building in areas that developing countries identify, transitions for commitments where capacity is still being developed, improving access to economic opportunity for women and low-income individuals, and incentivizing public-private partnerships. 

Living Agreement

We have continued to engage with economies that have expressed interest in joining TPP in the future.  Reflecting Leaders’ commitment to develop TPP as a potential platform that can expand participation to other economies across the region that are prepared to take on its high-standard commitments, we are close to agreement on the structure and process that will make the TPP a living agreement.  We also have advanced work across the agreement on how to ensure that TPP can continue to evolve as appropriate in response to future developments in trade, investment, technology, or other emerging issues and challenges, or areas of common interest. 

Next Steps

Given the significant progress on TPP since Leaders last met, and further acceleration of the pace of the negotiation in the run-up to this meeting in Beijing, Ministers have committed to redoubling our efforts to get the agreement over the finish line, recognizing that substance will drive the precise timing of conclusion.  Concluding a complex and ambitious agreement like TPP among countries that are as economically, developmentally, and geographically diverse as those in the TPP is challenging.  However, all 12 countries are committed to making completion of the negotiation a priority, and will dedicate the resources needed in order to do so, recognizing the important contribution TPP will make to our economic growth and development and to our competitiveness regionally and globally.  To do so, we will have to find compromises and to work pragmatically, flexibly, and creatively to find solutions that can address each of our needs while remaining steadfast to the high-standard and ambitious outcome that Leaders have identified as their shared goal. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Honor Our Veterans on Armistice Day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014, is Veterans Day, a federal holiday in the United States. National, state, and local government offices will be closed in commemoration. Most businesses will be open.

The Boston office of Agathon Associates will be closed for the day, as principal David Trumbull will be attending meetings of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists ("AATCC") in North Carolina, where he will represent clients' interests in fiber analysis.

Do you pause for a moment of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? I remember, decades ago, in grade school, we all did so in observance of Armistice Day, even though the name of the commemoration had been official changed to Veterans Day way back in 1954.

Without question, we do right to honor our soldiers, seamen, airmen, and marines with a public holiday. But let us not forget the origins of Veterans Day/Armistice Day, as remembrance of the end of the "War to End All Wars." Thomas Hardy wrote And There Was a Great Calm on the occasion of the signing of the armistice, here's one stnaza --

Breathless they paused. Out there men raised their glance
To where had stood those poplars lank and lopped,
As they had raised it through the four years’ dance
Of Death in the now familiar flats of France;
And murmured, 'Strange, this! How? All firing stopped?'

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. In 1926 Congress officially encouraged the observance of the day throughout the nation, but in was not until 1938 that Armistice Day became a legal federal holiday.

In 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation. Subsequent Presidents have continued the practice of issuing such proclamations.

By the way, Veterans Day is always on November 11th, which this year is a Tuesday. In 1968 the Uniform Holiday Bill removed several federal holidays from their traditional dates, placing them on Mondays in order to create three-day weekends. But many were not pleased with this tinkering with Veterans Day and in 1975 President Gerald R. Ford signed the law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

For more information on the celebration of Veterans Day, see

God Bless the United States of America!

Friday, November 7, 2014

David Trumbull at University of Rhode Island Friday, November 7th

Advisory to clients and email subscribers, I'll be out of the office today, Friday, November 7th, to attend a meeting of the Textile Advisory Board at the University of Rhode Island Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design.

Workers face millions in unpaid wages in Southern California garment industry

The U.S. Department of Labor yesterday reported finding workers owed more than $3 million. During fiscal year 2014, the department's Wage and Hour Division conducted 221 investigations of employers in this industry, almost all in and around Los Angeles, and found $3,004,085 in unpaid wages for 1,549 workers. The division said that amounted to an average of $1,900 per worker, which is five times the amount a typical sewing machine operator earns in a week.

For more information, see the Labor Department press release at