Monday, January 15, 2018

CARE LABELING RULE Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

On January 16, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (83 FR 2156) Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers to attach a permanent care label to all covered textile clothing in order to assist consumers in making purchase decisions and in determining what method to use to clean their apparel. Also, manufacturers and importers of piece goods used to make textile clothing must provide the same care information on the end of each bolt or roll of fabric.

Estimated annual hours burden: 32,600,587 hours (solely relating to disclosure).

Staff estimates that approximately 10,744 manufacturers or importers of textile apparel, producing about 18.4 billion textile garments annually, are subject to the Rule's disclosure requirements. The burden of developing proper care instructions may vary greatly among firms, primarily based on the number of different lines of textile garments introduced per year that require new or revised care instructions. Staff estimates the burden of determining care instructions to be 100 hours each year per firm, for a cumulative total of 1,074,400 hours. Staff further estimates that the burden of drafting and ordering labels is 80 hours each year per firm, for a total of 859,520 hours. Staff believes that the process of attaching labels is fully automated and integrated into other production steps for about 40 percent of the approximately 18.4 billion garments that are required to have care instructions on permanent labels. For the remaining 11.04 billion items (60 percent of 18.4 billion), the process is semi-automated and requires an average of approximately ten seconds per item, for a total of 30,666,667 hours per year. Thus, the total estimated annual burden for all firms is 32,600,587 hours (1,074,400 hours to determine care instructions + 859,520 hours to draft and order labels + 30,666,666 hours to attach labels).

Estimated annual cost burden: $214,221,229 (solely relating to labor costs).

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2018.

WOOL RULES: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request.

On January 16, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (83 FR 2154) Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request.

The Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 ("Wool Act") prohibits the misbranding of wool products. The Wool Rules establish disclosure requirements that assist consumers in making informed purchasing decisions and recordkeeping requirements that assist the Commission in enforcing the Rules.

Estimated Annual Hours Burden: 1,880,000 hours (160,000 recordkeeping hours + 1,720,000 disclosure hours). Recordkeeping: Staff estimates that approximately 4,000 wool firms are subject to the Wool Rules’ recordkeeping requirements. Based on an average annual burden of 40 hours per firm, the total recordkeeping burden is 160,000 hours.

Disclosure: Approximately 8,000 wool firms, producing or importing about 600,000,000 wool products annually, are subject to the Wool Rules’ disclosure requirements. Staff estimates the burden of determining label content to be 30 hours per year per firm, or a total of 240,000 hours, and the burden of drafting and ordering labels to be 60 hours per firm per year, or a total of 480,000 hours. Staff believes that the process of attaching labels is now fully automated and integrated into other production steps for about 40 percent of all affected products. For the remaining 360,000,000 items (60 percent of 600,000,000), the process is semiautomated and requires an average of approximately ten seconds per item, for a total of 1,000,000 hours per year. Thus, the total estimated annual burden for all firms is 1,720,000 hours (240,000 hours for determining label content + 480,000 hours to draft and order labels + 1,000,000 hours to attach labels). Staff believes that any additional burden associated with advertising disclosure requirements would be minimal (less than 10,000 hours) and can be subsumed within the burden estimates set forth above.

Estimated Annual Cost Burden: $16,380,000, rounded to the nearest thousand (solely relating to labor costs)

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2018.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 Notorious Markets List Spotlights Global Piracy and Counterfeiting, Defends American Products and Workers

On January 12, 2018, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the findings of the 2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, also known as the Notorious Markets List (List). The List highlights 25 online markets and 18 physical markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in and facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

This activity harms the American economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR) of U.S. owners of IPR in foreign markets. Imports in counterfeit and pirated physical products is estimated at nearly half a trillion dollars, or around 2.5% of global imports.

The 2017 Notorious Markets List maintains its special focus on the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit goods online. This year, the report highlights illicit streaming devices as an emerging piracy model of growing concern. The report also calls on several e-commerce platforms to improve takedown procedures, proactive measures, and cooperation with right holders—particularly small and medium-sized businesses—to decrease the volume and prevalence of counterfeit and pirated goods on their platforms.

Over the past year, some market owners and operators have made efforts to address the widespread availability of pirated or counterfeit goods in their markets. Some governments also continue to institute novel strategies to combat piracy and counterfeiting. These strategies include: voluntary initiatives with advertising networks to cut off financial support for websites devoted to copyright infringement; installing intellectual property enforcement centers on-location in high-priority physical markets; and using skills training to reorient former counterfeit sellers towards operating legitimate businesses. At the same time, we vigilantly monitor marketplaces with a record of piracy and counterfeit goods.

USTR first identified notorious markets in the Special 301 Report in 2006. Since February 2011, USTR has published annually the Notorious Markets List separately from the Special 301 Report, pursuant to an “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets,” to increase public awareness and help market operators and governments prioritize IPR enforcement efforts that protect American businesses and their workers.

The Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets identifies particularly notable online and physical markets that facilitate unfair competition with U.S. products. The report does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in pirated or counterfeit goods around the world, nor does it reflect findings of legal violations or the U.S. Government’s analysis of the general IPR protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned. Such analysis is contained in the annual Special 301 Report issued at the end of April each year.

FTZ Board Re-Opens Comment Period in Polypropylene Yarn Case

On January 12, 2018 the Foreign Trade Zone Board published in the Federal Register (83 FR 1608) Foreign-Trade Zone 186--Waterville, Maine; Application for Production Authority; Flemish Master Weavers; Subzone 186A; Invitation for Public Comment on Additional Information

The FTZ Board is inviting public comment on a new submission by the City of Waterville, Maine, grantee of FTZ 186, containing additional information pertaining to the production application of Flemish Master Weavers (FMW). The application, which was subject to a public comment period through August 7, 2017, requests unrestricted authority for FMW to produce machine-made woven area rugs from foreign-status continuous filament polypropylene yarn within Subzone 186A at the FMW facility in Sanford, Maine. The new submission on which the FTZ Board is now inviting public comment includes additional information concerning the supply of domestically-produced continuous filament polypropylene yarn and additional HTSUS Subheadings to describe that yarn.

Public comment is invited from interested parties. The closing period for their receipt is February 12, 2018.

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find the full history of the FMS filing at www.agathonassociates.com/textile-pri/ftz/2017-28-B.htm. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com.

Army Coat Contract Awarded

American Apparel Inc., Selma, Alabama, has been awarded a maximum $71,056,800 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Army combat uniform coats. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Maximum dollar amount is for the life of the contract. This was a competitive acquisition with 13 responses received. Location of performance is Alabama, with a Jan. 10, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-18-D-1020).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

James (Jim) C. Leonard III, 1939 - 2018

James (Jim) C. Leonard III passed away on December 25 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Jim was born May 24, 1939 in Winston-Salem to James C. Leonard, Jr. and Ruby Hodges Leonard. He graduated from James A. Gray High School in 1957 and from NC State University in 1961. Upon graduation from NCSU, he was commissioned an officer in the Army Signal Corps. Jim and another lieutenant were selected to lead the advanced party to Thailand to work with and train the Thai army on the use of long-range communication equipment. After a year in Thailand, Jim rotated back to Fort Gordon and was released from the Army. He worked a year in the Washington, DC area before going back to graduate school at NCSU.

He graduated from NCSU with a master's degree in mathematics and accepted a position with Burlington Industries in Greensboro, NC. Jim worked for Burlington for 34 years in various positions and rose to be the manager of economic analysis and manager of Burlington's lobbying office in Washington, DC. For about 20 of those years, Jim was an advisor to the US Government, dealing with textile/apparel trade agreements with many foreign countries.

In 2001, Jim was asked to come to Washington as a government employee to run the committee he had been an advisor to for 20 years. He was then nominated by President George W. Bush to be deputy assistant secretary of commerce, having responsibility for textiles/apparel and all consumer goods. His last year in Washington, Jim was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in a very favorable article with his level of responsibility at the US Department of Commerce. Jim felt his time in Washington made a difference.

After he returned home, he consulted for the College of Textiles at NCSU and the NC Department of Commerce. Jim was known as a "credible" person with only a hand shake needed to close a deal. He returned to NC at the birth of his first grandson. Family was so important to him that he did not want to miss a moment in the life of grandchildren.

He was active in his church. He especially enjoyed being a Stephen minister and was closely involved with several care receivers in recent years.

His great joy in later life was being able to visit and care for his two grandsons. Until the grandsons reached school age, he helped to provide daycare one day every week. His great sorrow was not being able to see them grow-up. His great hope was that he and CeCe have instilled in their two sons, as their parents instilled in their children, Christian values that will lead them through life.

Jim is survived by his wonderful wife of 50 years, Cecelia Fulmer Leonard; sons James IV (Courtney) of Raleigh and John (Caitlyn) of Raleigh; and grandsons James V and Benjamin; brothers Ralph (Lib) Leonard of Mocksville, Donald (Joanna) Leonard of Winston-Salem; sister Carol (Calvin) Cobb of Houston, Texas.

A memorial service will be at Jamestown United Methodist Church, 403 East Main Street, Jamestown, NC 27282 on January 13 at 11 a.m. The family will receive family and friends in the Fellowship Hall after the service. Memorials can be made to Jamestown United Methodist Church for the music program or Building a Firm Foundation; Hospice Home at Highpoint, 1803 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262; or Jamestown Historical Society, 603 W. Main Street, Jamestown, NC 27282. (Affordable Cremations of Winston-Salem).

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the U.S.A.

Monday, January 15th, U.S. government offices, and much of private business other than retail, will close in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

When President Ronald Reagan, on November 2, 1983, signed into law the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday he reminded his listeners that—

Martin Luther King was born in 1929 in an America where, because of the color of their skin, nearly one in ten lived lives that were separate and unequal…taught in segregated schools…could find only poor jobs, toiling for low wages…refused entry into hotels and restaurants, made to use separate facilities. In a nation that proclaimed liberty and justice for all, too many black Americans were living with neither.

If we consider the time from the arrival of the first slaves in the Virginia Colony in 1619 to the achievement of full civil rights for all African-Americans in every one of the 50 states in the 1960s, it was a very long struggle to achieve full civil equality. The modern African-American Civil Rights Movement that Dr. King was so important a leader in, on the other hand, was, for a major societal and legal change, relatively swift. It is generally considered to occupy the period from 1955 (Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott) to 1968 (King assassination and the Poor People's March). To those in the struggle it was long. But looking back, from 1955 to 1983, not quite 30 years, is, roughly, a generation. In one generation we advanced from a nation that tolerated legal discrimination against part of our citizenry based on the color of their skin, to a nation in which such as thing is not only forbidden, but absolutely unthinkable. It was Dr. King, more than any other single leader in the civil rights movement, who, with his insistence on non-violence, and his prophet-like call to the conscience of White American, who brought about such a marvelous and much needed change. That is why he is up there with Columbus and Washington as one of just three men who so influenced our nation that we honor them with a federal holiday.

President Reagan went on to remark that "Dr. King had awakened something strong and true, a sense that true justice must be colorblind." And Mr. Reagan pointed to both the progress made—and yet to be made—in the struggle for an America that lives up to her noble sentiment that all men are created equal, citing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Reagan, as he so often did, then called on Americans to embrace and enlarge upon their better nature, and exhorted his listeners—

But most important, there was not just a change of law; there was a change of heart. The conscience of America had been touched. Across the land, people had begun to treat each other not as blacks and whites, but as fellow Americans.

Traces of bigotry still mar America. So, each year on Martin Luther King Day, let us not only recall Dr. King, but rededicate ourselves to the Commandments he believed in and sought to live every day: Thou shall love thy God with all thy heart, and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. And I just have to believe that all of us —- if all of us, young and old, Republicans and Democrats, do all we can to live up to those Commandments, then we will see the day when Dr. King's dream comes true.

USTR Robert Lighthizer Statement on the Canadian WTO Challenge to Trade Remedies

On January 10, 2018, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued the following statement in regard to the case filed by Canada with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against U.S. disciplinary practices and procedures:

“Canada’s new request for consultations at the WTO is a broad and ill-advised attack on the U.S. trade remedies system. U.S. trade remedies ensure that trade is fair by counteracting dumping or subsidies that are injuring U.S. workers, farmers, and manufacturers. Canada’s claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade.

“Canada is acting against its own workers’ and businesses’ interests. Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada. For example, if the U.S. removed the orders listed in Canada’s complaint, the flood of imports from China and other countries would negatively impact billions of dollars in Canadian exports to the United States, including nearly $9 billion in exports of steel and aluminum products and more than $2.5 billion in exports of wood and paper products. Canada’s claims threaten the ability of all countries to defend their workers against unfair trade. Canada’s complaint is bad for Canada.”

Nominations for the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is establishing a new four-year charter term and accepting applications from qualified individuals interested in serving as a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA). The TACA is a trade advisory committee that provides general policy advice and guidance to the United States Trade Representative on trade policy and development matters that have a significant impact on the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

DATES: USTR will accept nominations on a rolling basis for membership on the TACA for the four-year charter term beginning in March 2018. To ensure consideration before the new charter term, you should submit you application by February 2, 2018.

The TACA is a discretionary trade advisory committee established to provide general policy advice to the United States Trade Representative on trade policy and development matters that have a significant impact on the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. More specifically, the TACA provides general policy advice on issues that may affect the countries of sub-Saharan Africa including: (1) Negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before entering into trade agreements; (2) the impact of the implementation of trade agreements; (3) matters concerning the operation of any trade agreement once entered into; and (4) other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of the trade policy of the United States. The TACA also facilitates the goals and objectives of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and assists in maintaining ongoing discussions with sub-Saharan African trade and agriculture ministries and private sector organizations on issues of mutual concern, including regional and international trade concerns and World Trade Organization issues.

The TACA meets as needed, at the call of the United States Trade Representative or his/her designee, or two-thirds of the TACA members, depending on various factors such as the level of activity of trade negotiations and the needs of the United States Trade Representative.

The TACA is composed of not more than 30 members who have expertise in general trade, investment and development issues and specific knowledge of United States-Africa trade and investment trends including trade under the AGOA; constraints to trade and investment (including infrastructure, energy and financing); trade facilitation measures; sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and technicalbarriers to trade; trade capacity building; investment treaty negotiations; United States-Africa investment and private sector partnerships; and implementation of World Trade Organization agreements. Members may represent industry, organized labor, investment, agriculture, services, non-profit development organizations, academia, and small business.

The United States Trade Representative appoints all TACA members for a term of four-years or until the TACA charter expires, and they serve at his/her discretion. Individuals can be reappointed for any number of terms. The United States Trade Representative makes appointments without regard to political affiliation and with an interest in ensuring balance in terms of sectors, demographics, and other factors relevant to the USTR's needs. Insofar as practicable, TACA membership will reflect regional diversity and be broadly representative of key sectors and groups of the economy with an interest in trade and sub-Saharan Africa issues, including U.S. citizens who are diaspora African and U.S. citizens of African descent with requisite knowledge and experience.

TACA members serve without either compensation or reimbursement of expenses. Members are responsible for all expenses they incur to attend meetings or otherwise participate in TACA activities.

USTR is soliciting nominations for membership on the TACA. To apply for membership, an applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen.

2. The applicant cannot be a full-time employee of a U.S. governmental entity.

3. If serving in an individual capacity as an SGE, the applicant cannot be a federally registered lobbyist.

4. The applicant cannot be registered with the U.S. Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

5. The applicant must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.

6. For representative members, who will comprise the overwhelming majority of the TACA, the applicant must represent a U.S. organization whose members (or funders) have a demonstrated interest in issues relevant to U.S. African trade and investment or have personal experience or expertise in United States-sub-Saharan African trade.

For eligibility purposes, a ``U.S. organization'' is an organization established under the laws of the United States, that is controlled by U.S. citizens, by another U.S. organization (or organizations), or by a U.S. entity (or entities), determined based on its board of directors (or comparable governing body), membership, and funding sources, as applicable. To qualify as a U.S. organization, more than 50 percent of the board of directors (or comparable governing body) and more than 50 percent of the membership of the organization to be represented must be U.S. citizens, U.S. organizations, or U.S. entities. Additionally, at least 50 percent of the organization's annual revenue must be attributable to nongovernmental U.S. sources.

7. For members who will serve in an individual capacity, the applicant must possess subject matter expertise regarding sub-Saharan Africa trade issues.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Federal Business Opportunities through January 10, 2018

Recently posted federal business opportunities.
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,GARRISON CAP
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0120
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Tulsa ANG Gear
Sol. #:            TulsaANGGear
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Red Sashs & Red Belts
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0084
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             PANEL MARKER
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0102
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             IGF::OT::IGF MASTER BPA FOR FR CLOTHING RENTAL
Sol. #:            140R1018Q0009
Agency:            Department of the Interior
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             FLAG,NATIONAL
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0020
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Black Wool Mufflers
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-P-0040
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Laundry Supply and Services
Sol. #:            12034318Q0029
Agency:            Department of Agriculture
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             USMC Historical Uniforms
Sol. #:            MCAGCC18Q0002
Agency:            Department of the Navy
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Tent Cot
Sol. #:            RILEYHHBNJLB0001
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Maroon Tassels
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0050
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             White Cotton Webbing
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0044
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire, Rescue
Sol. #:            7FCI-L3-030084-B
Agency:            General Services Administration
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Uniform Services
Sol. #:            201700351
Agency:            Federal Reserve
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             POCKET,AMMUNITION M
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0562
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             CASE,SHOTGUN AMMUNI
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0049
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Horse Hair Cloth
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0030
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,GRADE,ENLISTE
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0764
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             FLAG,ORGANIZATIONAL
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0766
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             FLAG,NATIONAL
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0790
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             DECORATION SET,INDI
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0780
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             SHOULDER CORD,INFAN
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0772
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Tulsa ANG Clothing
Sol. #:            TulsaANGClothing
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Tulsa ANG Gear
Sol. #:            TulsaANGGear
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Tulsa ANG Boots
Sol. #:            TulsaANGBoots 
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SERVICE CAP
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0473
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             MOBILITY BAGS
Sol. #:            W912JA-18-R-0112
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Enhanced-Multi Mission Parachute System (E-MMPS)
Sol. #:            M67854-17-R-1200
Agency:            Department of the Navy
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Crye Precision Uniforms
Sol. #:            F3UUAA7326AW01
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Vital Torso Protection - Full Rate Production
Sol. #:            W91CRB-16-R-0010
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Collars and Cuffs
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0042
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Uniform Sewing and Embroidery Services
Sol. #:            H92240-18-Q-1004
Agency:            Other Defense Agencies
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Police Motorcycle Breeches
Sol. #:            IQ1_LOG201800023
Agency:            United States Capitol Police
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Wind Tunnel Suits - Custom Fitted
Sol. #:            FA301618U0059
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Velocity Systems Brand Name Sources Sought
Sol. #:            HQ003418R0043
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             DECORATION SET,INDI
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0478
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             CLOTH,LAMINATED
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0316
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0753
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
Office:            DLA Acquisition Locations
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             LaSportiva 856-Karakorum Mountaineering Boots
Sol. #:            Benning375EMB0001
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Police Motorcycle Breeches
Sol. #:            IQ1_LOG201800023
Agency:            United States Capitol Police
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0099
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             FLIGHT HELMET REPAIR PARTS
Sol. #:            140L0218Q0004
Agency:            Department of the Interior
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             MASK SIMUNITION
Sol. #:            POLKTSCBC0004
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0096
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0061
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at www.agathonassociates.com/textile-pri/berry/fbo.htm. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com.

New AATCC Executive Vice President

On November 16, 2017, the AATCC Board of Directors met and approved the hiring of Brian C. Francois as the new AATCC executive vice president to succeed Jack Daniels upon the latter’s retirement in March 2018.

Francois is currently the CEO of the Pulcra Chemicals Group (formerly Cognis Corporation and Henkel Textile Technology). He has had a successful career in leadership positions for his current company, which he joined in 1992, as Senior Sales Representative.

As Technical Manager, Francois teamed with chemists to set targets for developing new chemicals and received six patents for innovation in textile chemistry in a two-year period. From 2001 to 2005, Francois expertly managed global sales, marketing, and product development teams in four countries as Global Business Manager—Active Textiles. In this role, he grew sales by $5M in three years. Francois was named Business Director, Textile Technology in 2005 and fostered relationships with affiliates and customers in Europe and Asia. He also led employees in US, Mexico, and distributors in Canada.

In 2009, Francois became President—US Business and oversaw the relocation of US business into new facilities with growth of 100% over five years. He became Vice President—Americas in 2011, and Global CEO in 2014. He was responsible for leading the reorganization of Brazilian operations and more recently a management team with new company core value and corporate vision. He established global integration and core management systems that improved employee satisfaction and increased productivity.

His knowledge of the consumer apparel end-use market, global textile industry, and experience in expanding businesses into new geographical areas will be a great benefit to AATCC. Francois has been an active member of AATCC for more than 25 years, and served for several years as chair of the Committee on Conferences, and as chair of the Olney Awards Committee. He was a voting member of the Wet Processing Machinery Committee and currently is a non-voting member of the Preparation Test Methods Committee. He also served on the Awards Oversight Committee.

Francois and his wife, Julie, plan to attend the 2018 International Conference in Greenville, SC, USA on March 6-8, 2018, to meet the AATCC members in attendance. Francois will start as the new AATCC Executive Vice President on April 2, 2018.

About AATCC: AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members in about 50 countries throughout the world.

AATCC Foundation Announces Scholarships and Fellowships for 2018

If you are a student taking courses or pursuing a degree in textiles, funding is available. For more information, see the AATCC Foundation website.

Army Boot Contract Awarded

McRae Industries Inc., Mt. Gilead, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $9,716,250 modification (P00012) exercising the third one-year option period of one-year base contract (SPE1C1-15-D-1023) with four one-year option periods for hot-weather, flame-resistant combat boots. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Jan. 8, 2019, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Textile Industry Comments on Moroccan Short Supply Requests

In October, 2017, the Government of Morocco requested consultation with the United States regarding the rules of origin for certain appear articles. The request, if accepted would place certain woven wool fabric and a variety of knit fabrics on the "short supply list."

The deadline to comment was January 5, 2018.

Comments were received in favor from American Apparel and Footwear Association.

Comments in opposition were submitted by:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Statement on the Conclusion of Meeting on the U.S.-Korea (KORUS) FTA

On January 5, 2018, officials from the United States and the Republic of Korea met at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to advance talks related to the U.S.-Korea (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement, including negotiations on Agreement modifications and amendments. The United States delegation was led by Michael Beeman, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea and APEC. The Republic of Korea delegation was led by Ms. Myung-hee Yoo, Director General from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).

Both sides engaged on their priority areas of interest during the day-long session. The United States discussed proposals to move towards fair and reciprocal trade in key industrial goods sectors, such as autos and auto parts, as well as to resolve additional cross-cutting and sector-specific barriers impacting U.S. exports.

At the conclusion of the session today, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said, “We have much work to do to reach an agreement that serves the economic interests of the American people. Our goals are clear: we must achieve fair and reciprocal trade between our two nations. We will move forward as expeditiously as possible to achieve this goal.”

Both sides agreed to follow-up to discuss timing for the next meeting in the very near term.

At the direction of President Trump, in July 2017 Ambassador Lighthizer initiated talks to consider matters affecting the operation of the KORUS FTA, including amendments and modifications to resolve several problems regarding market access in Korea for U.S. exports and, most importantly, to address the significant trade imbalance. In 2017, the United States and Korea convened two specials sessions of the KORUS Joint Committee, which were held on August 22, 2017 and October 4, 2017. This meeting was the first held between both sides since the completion of related domestic procedures in Korea in late December 2017.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Agathon Associates Comments on a Commercial Availability Request Under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement

Today Agathon Associates filed the following comments with the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

To Whom It May Concern:

I write as a consultant to the U.S. textile industry to oppose the request to modify the rules of origin for certain women's jackets, skirts, and pants of chief weight combed wool, classified at 6204.31.2010 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"), 6204.51.0010 HTSUS, and 6204.61.8010 HTSUS, under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement ("USMFTA"), published November 6, 2017, at 82 FR 51401. The Government of Morocco, on behalf of the apparel manufacturer Modaline, has requested that apparel articles of the above description not be excluded from USMFTA duty-free entry due to certain non-originating woven wool fabrics, specifically fabrics of 83-94% combed (worsted) wool, 4-15% nylon, and 1-7% spandex, classified at 5112.19 and 5112.20 HTSUS. I write on behalf of my clients American Woolen Company, Northwest Woolen Mill, and Pendleton Woolen Mills.

My clients are ready and able to supply the fabrics in question. Please note that "Woolen" in a company name does not mean that the company is limited to woolen (carded wool), these U.S. manufacturers also weave fabrics of worsted (combed) wool and worsted wool blends, including the blends the subject of this request. I further note that under the terms of the USMFTA the yarns also must originate. My clients currently source these yarns in the U.S. for programs under other FTAs and in fabrics for U.S. Department of Defense contracts which, under the "Berry Amendment" are required to have 100% U.S. content from fiber to finished article.

The request from the Government of Morocco should be rejected "out of hand" as failing to present any factual basis for the request. No attempt is made in the request to demonstrate short supply of the fabric in the region. No evidence is presented of any attempt to contact potential suppliers in the U.S. or Morocco. While the USMFTA does not include a "due diligence" requirement such as that in the Commercial Availability ("Short Supply") provisions of some FTAs, I believe it is an abuse of the USMFTA consultation on rules of origin provision to submit a request without doing even the slightest to determine whether it has any justification. My clients would rather be busy making fabric and making money than responding to utterly meritless requests. As a taxpayer I object that U.S. government resources must be used to investigate and respond to this meritless request.

The sole justification given in the request for modifying the rules of origin is the December 31, 2015, expiration of the USMFTA Tariff Preference Level ("TPL") provision, in an initial amount of 30 million square meter equivalents, phased down to 4.3 million in the final year, and now is entirely eliminated. The TPL is a derogation from the general "yarn forward" rule of the USMFTA. The yarn forward rule is at the very foundation of U.S. FTA policy as respects textiles and apparel. The TPL was a generous temporary dispensation from the rule. Now that it is expired it is inappropriate to invoke it as justification for changes to the rules of origin.

1. Morocco agreed to the yarn forward rule and should live up to that agreement.

2. The expiration of the TPL, after ten years, is one of the provisions of the agreement. Morocco had ten years, during that transition period, to build its own industry to supply these fabrics or establish business relations with U.S. textile manufacturers who made these fabrics. It appears that Morocco did neither.

3. Approval of these request relating to three specific types of women's wear will likely result in subsequent requests relating to other articles of apparel and other woven wool fabrics.

4. It would be unfair to the other 17 nations that are free trade partners with the U.S. under the terms of 11 agreements who, with only narrow, carefully carved out exceptions, operate under the yarn forward rule.

5. If granted, this request will prompt other current and future free trade partners to seek short supply status for the same fabrics.

6. Unlike the expired TPL, which has annual caps, the request is unlimited as to quantity, and, if approved, would create an incentive for Morocco to increase production of apparel of third-country fabric.

Because these fabrics are available from domestic U.S. sources that will be harmed were the request granted, and because no U.S. textile industry interests can possibly be aided by the requested changes, I urge in the strongest terms that the U.S. reject this request.

If you have any questions please contact me at 617-237-6008 or david@agathonassociates.com.

Yours,

David Trumbull

Media accreditation for round six of NAFTA renegotiations

The sixth round of the renegotiation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will take place in Montreal, Canada, from January 23 to 28, 2018.

Global Affairs Canada invites media to register online on its Registration and Accreditation Portal by 11:59 p.m. ET, on January 16, 2018.

Additional logistical information for media is available online.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Morocco Short Supply Responses Due Friday, January 5th

Background: Article 4.3.3 of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement provides that, on the request of either Party, the Parties shall consult to consider whether the rules of origin applicable to a particular textile or apparel good should be revised to address issues of availability of supply of fibers, yarns, or fabrics in the territories of the Parties. If a particular fiber, yarn, or fabric is found to not be available the rules of origin may be modified to allow non-originating fiber, yarn, or fabric. This is commonly known as a "short supply" request. In a egregious violation of the spirit of the agreement, and in total disregard for the facts, the government of Morocco has presented the U.S. with an outrageous proposed "short supply" list, alleging that there is no U.S. production of woven fabric of wool or knitted fabric of any fiber.

Comments must be submitted by January 5, 2018 to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements. Agathon Associates is available to assist any of the scores of U.S. companies that make the fabrics the subject to this utterly without merit request.

The Government of the United States received a request from the Government of Morocco on October 10, 2017, on behalf of MODALINE HOLDING, requesting that the United States consider whether the USMFTA rules of origin should be modified to allow the use of 83-94% wool/4%-15% nylon/1%-7% spandex woven fabric classified in subheading 5112.19 and 5112.20 of the HTSUS that is not originating under the USMFTA.

The Government of the United States received a request from the Government of Morocco on October 10, 2017, on behalf of SALSABILE, requesting that the United States consider whether the USMFTA rule of origin for certain knit apparel should be modified to allow the use of certain knit fabrics that are not originating under the USMFTA. The fabrics subject to this request are--

Fabric 1: Knit fleece fabric of acrylic (67-73%) and viscose (27-33%), weighing 200-280 g/m2, classified in subheading 6001.22 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 2: Dyed knit fabric of nylon (52-58%), wool (27-33%), and acrylic (12-18%), classified in subheading 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 3: Dyed knit fabric of nylon (42-48%), viscose (37-43%), and wool (12-18%), classified in subheading 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 4: Dyed knit fabric of nylon (41-47%), wool (18-24%), acrylic (18-24%), and mohair (11-17%), classified in subheading 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 5: Dyed knit fabric of cotton (50-56%), acrylic (34-40%), and polyester (7-13%), classified in subheadings 6006.22 and 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 6: Dyed knit fabric of polyester (57-63%), wool (27-33%), and nylon (7-13%), classified in subheading 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 7: Dyed knit fabric of cotton (51-60%), rayon (30-40%), and nylon (4-10%), classified in subheading 6006.22 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 8: Knit fabric of rayon (50-84%), polyester (14-49%), and elastomeric (1-10%), classified in subheadings 6004.10, 6005.41, 6005.42, 6005.43, 6005.44, 6006.41, 6006.42, 6006.43, and 6006.44 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 9: Knit fabric of polyester (50-65%), rayon (30-49%), and elastomeric (1-10%), classified in subheadings 6004.10, 6005.36, 6005.37, 6005.38, 6005.39, 6006.31, 6006.32, 6006.33, and 6006.34 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 10: Knit fabric of rayon (90-99%) and elastomeric (1-10%), classified in subheadings 6004.10, 6005.41, 6005.42, 6005.43, 6005.44, 6006.41, 6006.42, 6006.43, and 6006.44 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 11: Knit fabric of rayon (51-84%) and polyester (16-49%), classified in subheadings 6005.41, 6005.42, 6005.43, 6005.44, 6006.41, 6006.42, 6006.43, and 6006.44 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 12: Knit fabric of polyester (51-65%) and rayon (35-49%), classified in subheadings 6005.36, 6005.37, 6005.38,6005.39, 6006.31, 6006.32, 6006.33, and 6006.34 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 13: Knit fabric of synthetic fiber (90-99%) and elastomeric (1-10%), classified in subheadings 6004.10, 6005.37, 6005.38, 6005.39, 6006.32, 6006.33, and 6006.34 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 14: Knit jersey fabric, other than warp knit, of lyocell (44-50%), rayon (44-50%), and elastomeric (3-9%), weighing 150-220 g/m2, classified in subheadings 6004.10 and 6006.42 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 15: Slub jersey fabric of cotton (51-65%) and rayon (35-49%), weighing 120-225 g/m2, classified in subheading 6006.22 of the HTSUS;

Fabric 16: Knit jersey fabric, other than warp knit, of rayon (30-36%), acrylic (19-35%), polyester (27-33%), and elastomeric (3-8%), weighing 125-250 g/m2, classified in subheadings 6004.10 and 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 17: Knit fabric of cotton (51-70%), rayon (33-49%), and elastomeric (2-7%), weighing up to 275 g/m2, classified in subheadings 6004.10, 6006.21, 6006.22, and 6006.24 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 18: Knit jersey fabric, other than warp knit, of polyester (43-46%), rayon (43-45%), flax (5-9%), and elastomeric (4-5%), weighing 125-250 g/m2, classified in subheadings 6004.10 and 6006.32 of the HTSUS.

Fabric 19: Slub jersey fabric, other than warp knit, of rayon (92-98%), polyester (2-3%), and elastomeric (2-5%), weighing 150-200 g/m2, classified in subheadings 6004.10 and 6006.42 of the HTSUS.

Public comment period closes on January 5, 2018.

The list includes a wide range of circular knits, warp knits, stretch knits, and fleece. Note, that the classifications given for the fabrics are at the 6-digit subheading level, which is much broader than the U.S. 10-digit statistical breakout that many U.S. companies are accustomed to working with, with the result that each of the 19 "fabrics" is actually a itself of group of fabrics. Agathon Associates has prepared a SPREADSHEET to assist clients in evaluating this long list of requested fabrics. Also note, that although the request from the Government of Morocco relates the fabrics on the list to specific end-use apparel articles, it is likely that were a fabric approved from a particular end use, that future requests may be made for the same fabric for other end uses, and approval in this case would be cited as the basis for the later request.

On December 18, 2017, Milliken and Company submitted Comments in Opposition, stating they can make all of the knit fabrics subject of the request.

As of noon on January 3rd the OTEXA website did not show any comments received regarding the woven wool fabric short supply request.

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on final U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the imposition today by the United States of final countervailing and anti-dumping duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products:

“Canada’s forestry industry supports good middle-class jobs in communities across our country. The Government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry and its workers against protectionist trade practices.

“U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair, unwarranted and troubling. They are harmful to Canada’s lumber producers, workers and communities, and they add to the cost of home building, renovations and other projects for American middle-class families.

“Canada has already begun legal challenges of these duties under NAFTA and through the WTO, where Canadian litigation has proven successful in the past.

“We will continue to work with the provinces and territories, as well as with Canadian industry and workers, to find an enduring solution. Canada will also continue to engage with the U.S. Administration and with American legislators to come to a new agreement on softwood lumber.”

Comfort Research Recalls Bean Bag Chair Covers Due to Risks of Entrapment, Suffocation to Children

Recall Details

Description: This recall involves Comfort Research’s Ultra Lounge bean bag chair covers. The natural polyester Sherpa, teardrop-shape bean bag chair cover measures 28 inches by 28 inches by 36 inches and has two zippers on the exterior. The covers were sold without foam bead filling in a DIY package. The covers have three sewn-in tags. One tag reads “id COLORS” on the front and “RN48711” on the back. The second tag has the UPC label code “PO#12991” or “PO#13539” on the front. And, the third tag has the care and use instructions printed on one side and the warning notice on the other.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take bean bag chairs with the recalled covers away from children and contact Comfort Research for a full refund.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Kroger, Meijer and Shopko from April 2017 through August 2017 for between $30 and $40.

Manufacturer(s): Comfort Research LLC, of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Manufactured In: U.S. and China

Recall number: 18-076

Federal Business Opportunities through January 3, 2018

Recently posted federal business opportunities.
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,BRANCH OF
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0472
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             DECORATION,UNIT
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0471
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             DECORATION SET,INDI
Sol. #:            SPE1C118T0750
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Outdoor Retailer Indstry Meetings
Sol. #:            M67854-18-I-1331
Agency:            Department of the Navy
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             CLOTH,PARACHUTE
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0013
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire, Rescue
Sol. #:            7FCI-L3-030084-B
Agency:            General Services Administration
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Repair and Replacement parts for Drash Tents
Sol. #:            W912JM17T0002
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             White Cotton Webbing
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0044
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Black Wool Mufflers
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-P-0040
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Tent Liners & Plenum Trunks
Sol. #:            N0018918Q0065_01
Agency:            Department of the Navy
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             CLOTH SHEETING & CANVAS #4
Sol. #:            SPMYM4-18-Q-0187
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0095
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0094
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Commercial Item, Industrial Corn Starch 
Sol. #:            CT2235-18
Agency:            Department of Justice
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Uniform Services
Sol. #:            201700351
Agency:            Federal Reserve
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Gabion Basket IDIQ Restock for National Flood Fight Materiel Center (NFFMC)
Sol. #:            W912EK18T0017
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Temporary Perimeter Flood Barriers for the National Flood Fight Materiel Center
Sol. #:            W912EK18T0016
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Purchase of 50,000 Junior Ranger Badges for Capita
Sol. #:            140P1418Q0018
Agency:            Department of the Interior
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             BLACK PARKA'S
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0073
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             WHITE POCKETING CLOTH
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0072
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Full Dress Hat and Cap Hardcore
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0077
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Patches and Chevrons
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0076
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Cufflinks
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0075
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Women's White Over Blouses
Sol. #:            W911SD-18-T-0074
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0092
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             FELT SHEET
Sol. #:            SPE1C118Q0091
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             Uniform Services
Sol. #:            201700351
Agency:            Federal Reserve
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             OCP Blouse & Trousers
Sol. #:            W912L7-18-Q-1004
Agency:            Department of the Army
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             HELMET,COMBAT VEHIC
Sol. #:            SPE7L318U0034
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             VEST,AMMUNITION CAR
Sol. #:            SPE1C118R00070001
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
-------------------------------------------------------
Title:             DRC Tents Big Pine Key & Key Largo 
Sol. #:            HSFE04-17-Q-0013
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 www.agathonassociates.com/textile-pri/berry/fbo.htm. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com.