Thursday, April 2, 2020

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

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

AATCC Honors H. Kenneth Greeson with the Olney Medal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Olney Medal

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

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

Chronicle to receive Chapin Award for Service to AATCC

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

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

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

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

The Chapin Award

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

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

Report Highlights Accomplishments in Reducing Foreign Trade Barriers to American Exports

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

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

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

WESTERN HEMISPHERE

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

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

EUROPEAN UNION

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

MIDDLE EAST

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

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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

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

CHINA AND TAIWAN

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

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

JAPAN

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

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

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

SOUTHEAST ASIA

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please contact:

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

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

USTR to Consider China 301 Exclusions for Medical Care Products

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

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

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

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coalition of Iconic American Apparel Brands & Textile Companies Heeds Call of Nation to Produce Medical Face Masks

A coalition of iconic American apparel brands and textile companies, responding to the urgent call of the White House for medical supplies, have come together to build a supply chain virtually overnight and fast-track the manufacturing of medical face masks to help hospitals, health care workers and citizens battling the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Parkdale Inc.-- the largest yarn spinner in the U.S. headquartered in North Carolina—helped lead the effort to build the coalition with Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and six other companies to set up a manufacturing supply chain and begin ramping up production of the masks.

The coalition consists of iconic American brands such as Hanesbrands and Fruit of the Loom, often competitors in the marketplace, who are banding together for the greater good of a nation facing one if its most monumental challenges.

American Giant, Los Angeles Apparel, AST Sportswear, Sanmar, America Knits, Beverly Knits and Riegel Linen are also part of the coalition working tirelessly to respond to a national emergency in the nation’s time of need.

Dr. Peter Navarro, assistant to the President and director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, worked with the coalition and helped expedite the production of these masks. The first face masks have been approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The companies expect to begin production on Monday and will make the first deliveries by mid-week.

They are dedicating their assets, resources and manufacturing capacities to create a high output of facemasks. Once fully ramped up in four to five weeks, the companies expect to produce up to 10 million facemasks per week in the United States and in Central America.

If companies are interested in dedicating resources to help the cause, please reach out to the National Council of Textile Organizations at kellis@ncto.org.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018.

The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018.

U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018.

Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

Request for Comments on Negotiating Objectives for a United States-Republic of Kenya Trade Agreement

On March 23, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 16450) Request for Comments on Negotiating Objectives for a United States-Republic of Kenya Trade Agreement.

On March 17, 2020, the U.S Trade Representative notified Congress of the Administration's intent to enter into negotiations with the Republic of Kenya (Kenya) for a U.S.-Kenya trade agreement. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on a proposed U.S.-Kenya trade agreement, including U.S. interests and priorities, in order to develop U.S. negotiating positions. You can provide comments in writing and orally at a public hearing. The Administration's aim in negotiations with Kenya is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

April 15, 2020 is the deadline for the submission of written comments and for written notification of your intent to testify, as well as a summary of your testimony at the public hearing.

On April 28, 2020: The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m., in Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20508.

The TPSC invites interested parties to submit comments and/or oral testimony to assist USTR as it develops negotiating objectives and positions for the agreement, including with regard to objectives identified in section 102 of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (19 U.S.C. 4201). In particular, the TPSC invites interested parties to comment on issues that USTR should address in the negotiations including, but not limited to, the following:

a. General and product-specific negotiating objectives for the proposed agreement.

b. Relevant barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and Kenya.

c. Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on articles traded with Kenya.

d. Treatment of specific goods (classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States or HTSUS) under the proposed agreement, including comments on the following:

i. Product-specific import or export interests or barriers.

ii. Experience with particular measures that USTR should address in the negotiations.

iii. Ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities in the context of the proposed agreement.

e. Fees, charges, and taxes affecting trade in goods and services between the United States and Kenya.

f. Customs and trade facilitation issues, including those related to pre-shipment inspection.

g. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade.

h. Transparency issues.

i. Other measures or practices, including those of third-country entities, which undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Fine Animal Hair Yarn, MMF Tow, Polyurethane Coated Fabric, and Certain Stretch Knits Excluded from China 301

On March 20, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced 177 new China 301 Exclusions.

57) Yarn of cashmere or camel hair, carded but not combed, not put up for retail sale (described in statistical reporting number 5108.10.8000)

58) Polyester filament tow, weighing at least 225 ktex but not more than 275 ktex (described in statistical reporting number 5501.20.0000)

59) Polypropylene fiber tow weighing at least 225 ktex but not more than 275 ktex (described in statistical reporting number 5501.40.0000)

60) Textile fabrics of woven polyester or of a blend of cotton and polyester, coated on one side with expanded polyurethane which comprises more than 70 percent of the total weight of the product, the entire thickness of the fabric measuring at least 0.8 mm but not more than 1.22 mm in thickness and weighing at least 350 g/m² or more but not more than 425 g/m² (described in statistical reporting number 5903.20.2000)

61) Circular single knitted fabric, containing by weight 96 percent polyester and 4 percent spandex, dyed (described in statistical reporting number 6006.32.0080)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Additional Days for CBP Payments due to COVID-19

Due to the severity of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced it will approve, on a case by case basis, additional days for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees due to this emergency. Requests should be directed to the Office of Trade, Trade Policy and Programs at OTentrysummary@cbp.dhs.gov.

Analysis of China 301 Tranche 4A Exclusions

On August 20, 2019, at the direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to modify the action being taken in the investigation by imposing additional duties of 10 percent ad valorem on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion as part of the action in the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. The additional duties on products in List 1, which is set out in Annex A of that action, became effective on September 1, 2019. On August 30, 2019, at the direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to increase the rate of the additional duty applicable to the tariff subheadings covered by the action announced in the August 20 notice from 10 percent to 15 percent. On January 22, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to reduce the rate from 15 percent to 7.5 percent.

The U.S. Trade Representative initiated a product exclusion process in October 2019, and interested persons have submitted requests for the exclusion of specific products. This notice announces the U.S. Trade Representative’s determination to grant certain exclusion requests, as specified in the Annex to this notice. The U.S. Trade Representative will continue to issue decisions on pending requests on a periodic basis.

USTR received 30,283 exclusion requests relating to this list, Tranche 4A. As of March 20, 2020, exclusions were granting relating to 802 requests. 25,665 requests were denied. The remaining 3,816 are still pending.

Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report 2020

The United States Trade Representative delivered President Trump’s 2020 Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report to Congress on Feb. 28. The report details how President Trump is keeping his promises to change America’s trade policy – and the result is an economic “blue-collar boom” with higher wages, more jobs and a stronger economy for all. Additionally, the report outlines the Administration’s key trade goals for 2020, including negotiating new trade agreements with strategic partners, aggressively enforcing trade agreements, and changing the World Trade Organization (WTO).

President Trump Kept His Promises and Has Achieved Historic Economic Successes

  • The President achieved more trade successes over the last 12 months than prior administrations achieved in a typical decade. The result is a stronger economy, rising wages and more jobs – including more manufacturing jobs.
  • While 15,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in the 12 months prior to President Trump’s election, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been added to the American economy since then.
  • Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded. Wages are growing faster for nearly all groups, but historically disadvantaged groups are seeing the fastest growth.
  • Wealth inequality has finally declined, as the share of net worth held by the bottom 50 percent of households has increased while the share held by the top one percent of households has decreased.

Standing Up to China’s Unfair Trade Practices

  • President Trump kept his promise and confronted China over its unfair trade practices, after years of little more than talk from Washington. The enforceable and historic Phase One Agreement he signed requires major structural changes by China relating to intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agricultural standards, financial services, and currency, while maintaining leverage with significant tariffs on $370 billion worth of imports from China.
  • In addition, the Phase One Agreement expands trade, with enforceable commitments by China to increase purchases of U.S. exports by no less than $200 billion over the next two years in four major areas: manufactured goods, agriculture, energy, and services. Both sides expect that China’s increased imports of U.S. goods and services will continue on this trajectory beyond 2021.

Replacing NAFTA With a Modern and Balanced USMCA

  • President Trump kept his promise to end NAFTA by replacing it with a far better agreement – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA is a 21st century agreement that will lead to fairer trade and robust economic growth in North America.
  • The USMCA encourages U.S. manufacturing by requiring high-wage labor content for autos; strengthens supply chains to provide new market opportunities for the U.S. textile and apparel sector; provides strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights; includes the strongest labor provisions of any trade agreement; expands market access for American food and agricultural products; contains the strongest disciplines on digital trade of any international agreement; and makes environmental obligations fully enforceable.

Fairer Trade with Japan

  • The President successfully negotiated two trade agreements with Japan, the world’s third largest national economy.
  • The United States-Japan Trade Agreement and the United States-Japan Digital Trade Agreement reflect early achievements from negotiations in the areas of market access and digital trade. Thanks to these agreements, more than 90% of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access, and new digital trade rules covering $40 billion in trade will help drive innovation and economic prosperity.

Vigorously Enforcing Our Trade Laws and Trade Agreements

  • Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States is actively enforcing our trade laws and free trade agreements. For too long, the United States failed to take steps to ensure that other nations followed through on the promises they made in trade agreements with the United States. That failed approach has ended.
  • Over the last year, the United States initiated two actions to enforce environmental provisions in our free trade agreements, and our trading partners changed their practices. The United States also obtained an historic WTO award of $7.5 billion annually – the largest in WTO history – in our country’s long-running dispute with the European Union over illegal subsidies to Airbus.

Leading Efforts to Change the World Trade Organization

  • The United States has engaged extensively with WTO Members to address long-standing U.S. concerns, bring forward new ideas and proposals, and advance ongoing negotiations.
  • The United States led efforts to assess the failings of the WTO Appellate Body and issued the first comprehensive study of the Appellate Body. The Report details the Appellate Body’s repeated failure to follow the rules WTO Members agreed to. It also describes how the Appellate Body’s persistent overreaching has taken away Members’ rights and imposed new obligations on those Members without their consent.
  • The United States led efforts to improve transparency and compliance with notification of certain trade-related obligations. The United States was the first WTO Member to table a transparency proposal that establishes appropriate consequences for chronic non-compliance with notification obligations.
  • The United States proposed updating Members’ special and differential designations so the WTO can reflect current economic realities. As a result, several WTO Members have renounced seeking special and differential treatment in trade negotiations going forward.
  • Together with other WTO Members, the United States is working on e-commerce and digital trade initiatives. The United States has proposed high-standard rules in all key areas of digital trade, such as those related to cross-border data flows, privacy, source code, and cybersecurity to help ensure that digital trade can continue to drive economic growth and development.
  • The United States is actively working to finalize a multilateral fisheries agreement. The United States is aiming high to achieve meaningful reductions in these harmful subsidies and imposing real constraints on the world’s largest subsidizers.

Expanding an America-First Trade Agenda

  • Over the coming year, the Trump Administration will focus on negotiating new trade agreements that benefit all Americans, strongly enforcing the nation’s trade laws to ensure our trading partners play by the rules, and protecting American interests at the WTO.
  • The United States will pursue balanced and reciprocal trade agreements with important strategic partners, including the United Kingdom, the European Union and Kenya.
  • United Kingdom - As part of a trade agreement with the UK, the United States aims to achieve a fairer and deeper trade relationship with the UK by addressing certain tariff and non-tariff barriers and agreeing on high-standard rules.
  • European Union - For many years, U.S. businesses have been at a disadvantage in doing business in the EU. In a fair trade agreement with the European Union, the United States seeks to eliminate EU barriers to its markets and seeks a more balanced trade relationship.
  • Kenya - In pursuing negotiations on a trade agreement with Kenya, the Trump Administration is responding to Congress’ mandate, as expressed in the African Growth and Opportunity Act, to negotiate reciprocal and mutually beneficial trade agreements that serve the interests of both the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Trump Administration will continue to aggressively enforce U.S. trade laws to protect the interests of American businesses and workers. USTR will monitor our trading partners to ensure their compliance with the terms of bilateral, regional, and WTO trade agreements. Where appropriate, USTR may take action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 or recommend action under other statutory authorities granted to the President.
  • The United States will also explore a broader reset at the WTO.
  • The WTO currently locks in an outdated tariff framework that no longer reflects deliberate policy choices and economic realities. Members need to fundamentally rethink tariff commitments by the United States and its trading partners.
  • In addition, the United States will continue to push for a close review of the WTO’s budget, which has faced little scrutiny in the past. The WTO must ensure that there is accountability and that expenditures reflect the priorities of its Members.
  • Finally, the United States will advocate for changes that allow for more -- and more effective -- plurilateral agreements.

Information on Processing of Binding Ruling Requests by CBP’s National Commodity Specialist Division

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that the National Commodity Specialist Division is still accepting requests for binding rulings. However, the evolving situation regarding the declared national emergency on the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) has affected the processing operations of our Customs Information Exchange branch.

CPB is alerting the trade that paper binding ruling requests and requests that include or necessitate a sample may be delayed in processing and/or issuance. During this time, it is recommended that all ruling requests be made through the use of eRulings (https://erulings.cbp.gov/s/), and include detailed photographs or short videos of the product to be submitted in lieu of samples. However, CBP recognizes that certain commodities require a sample in order for a determination to be made. In such cases, delays may occur. The National Import Specialist assigned to work on your ruling will reach out to you to discuss your options and whether a determination can be made without a sample.

U.S. Textile and Nonwoven Associations Urge Government to Deem Manufacturing Facilities “Essential”

U.S. textile and nonwoven associations issued a joint statement yesterday urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The associations state that their members make a broad range of inputs and finished products used in an array of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.

If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods. This will create significant hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items. We are asking the administration and state and local authorities to provide greater certainty and clarity for our companies and employees and ask for a clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from “Shelter in Place” orders as the textile and nonwoven products that we make in the U.S. play an essential role in mitigating the shortages of critical supplies. Such a designation will help us avoid disruptions of vital goods and services during this challenging time.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry in global commerce. Since 1968, INDA events have helped members connect, learn, innovate, and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy, and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. For more information, visit inda.org, or download the INDA mobile app for immediate updates.

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the global industrial fabrics industry since 1912. IFAI invests more than $8 million each year to advance the industry and support member companies. IFAI provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their businesses. www.ifai.com

Lilly of New York Children’s Winter Boots Recalled by Kidz Concepts Due to Violation of Federal Lead Content Ban

Description: This recall involves Lilly of New York-branded children’s winter boots. They were sold in children’s sizes 5 through 10 in the following colors and style numbers: Aqua (53325), black with glitter (53323), black with green (53317), and purple with black (53324). The lined boots have a Velcro closure and rubber soles. Lilly and the style number appear on the inside of the shoe’s tongue.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled winter boots away from children and contact Lilly of New York for a full refund or to receive a free replacement product of similar value. Zulily is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Sold Exclusively Online: Zulily.com from November 2019 through January 2020 for between $35 and $40.

Manufacturer(s): Wenzhou Jinlong Shoes Co., of China

Importer(s): Kidz Concepts, of New York (owner of Lilly of New York)

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 20-729

For more information and photos CLICK HERE.

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Army Physical Fitness Jacket Contract

Federal Prison Industries, doing business as UNICOR, Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $12,720,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Army physical fitness uniform jackets. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Florida and Washington, District of Columbia, with a March 18, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-F055).

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Trump Administration Notifies Congress of Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya

On March 17, 2020, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that the Trump Administration will negotiate a trade agreement with Kenya.

In officially notifying Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative is following the procedures set out in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 – often referred to as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – which requires ongoing consultations with Congress. These consultations ensure that USTR develops negotiating positions with the benefit of Congress’ views. USTR will also publish a notice in the Federal Register requesting the public’s input on the direction, focus and content of the trade negotiations.

In accordance with TPA, the U.S. Trade Representative will publish objectives of the negotiations with Kenya at least 30 days before formal trade negotiations begin.

Cashmere Apparel Knit-to-Shape in Hong Kong and Finished in China is Product of Hong Kong, CBP Rules

On February 5, 2020, U.S. Customs ruled (Ruling N308718) that a cashmere scarf assembled into a finished item in China of panel knit-to-shape in Hong Kong, is a product of Hong Kong. The manufacturing processes were--

The cashmere yarns are imported from China into Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the yarns are knit-to-shape into a scarf panel with lines of demarcation and two tubular binding hems. The long edge of the scarf panel is finished with half-milano stitch hem.

The panel and hems are shipped to China and assembled into the finished item.

CBP ruled "As the good is knit to shape and a change to 6117.10 from yarn occurs in Hong Kong, origin is conferred in Hong Kong."

On February 25, 2020, U.S. Customs ruled (Ruling N309575) that a cashmere pullover assembled into a finished item in China of panels knit-to-shape in Hong Kong, is a product of Hong Kong.

Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Baiocco and Staff Meeting with Representatives from the American Apparel & Footwear Association

On March 20, 2020, Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Baiocco and staff will be meeting with Kristen Kern, Christina Mitropoulos, and Nate Herman, from the American Apparel & Footwear Association to discuss counterfeits, product safety concerns with counterfeit products, and online retail liability. The meeting will be held on a conference call. The meeting was requested by Kristen Kern. For additional information, including call in number, contact Brandon Schall at Bschall@cpsc.gov.

Catching Up on Section 301 Exclusions for Medical Textiles

On March 10, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 13970) Notice of Product Exclusions: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. Among the articles excluded from Tranche 4A China Section 301 tariffs are three medical textile products>

6210.10.5000 Nonwoven disposable apparel designed for use in hospitals, clinics, laboratories or contaminated areas.

6307.90.6090 Surgical drapes: Of fabric formed on a base of paper or covered or lined with paper.

6307.90.6800 Spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric disposable surgical drapes of man-made fibers.

More Health Care Textile Products Excluded from China 301 Tariffs

On March 17, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (82 FR 15244) Notice of Product Exclusions: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. This list of 19 articles relates to Tranche 4A and includes the following textile products, which, as in earlier exclusion orders, relate to heath care products.

6) Cold packs consisting of a single-use, instant, endothermic chemical reaction cold pack combined with a textile exterior lining (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

7) Disposable shoe and boot covers of man-made fiber fabrics (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

8) Eye compresses, each consisting of a fabric cover filled with silica or gel beads, with or without a hook-and-loop fastener strap (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

9) Face masks, single-use, of textile fabrics (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

10) Gel pads of textile materials, each with removable fabric sleeves, in the shape of hearts, circles or quadrants (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

11) Hot packs of textile material, single-use (exothermic chemical reaction) (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

12) Laparotomy sponges of cotton (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

13) Patient restraint or safety straps of textile materials, with hook-and-loop or ladder lock fasteners (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

14) Single-use blood pressure cuff sleeves of textile materials (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

15) Single-use medical masks of textile material (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

16) Single-use stethoscope covers (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

17) Woven gauze sponges of cotton in square or rectangular sizes (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

Contract for Men's Poromeric Shoes Awarded

Capps Shoe Co., Lynchburg, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,396,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for men's poromeric shoes. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one-year base year contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Virginia, with a March 17, 2021, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1246).

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ambassador Lighthizer Statement on Canada's Approval of the USMCA

On March 13, 2020, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer commented on the Canadian Parliament’s approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
"Now that the USMCA has been approved by all three countries, an historic new chapter for North American trade has begun. This landmark achievement would not be possible without President Trump’s leadership and determination to strengthen our economy, and the hard work of our negotiating partners in Canada and Mexico. USMCA is the gold standard by which all future trade agreements will be judged, and citizens of all three countries will benefit for years to come."

Background:

USMCA was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on January 29, 2020, after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The President was elected on replacing NAFTA with an agreement that puts American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses first. He achieved this goal with the USMCA, an agreement that will bring manufacturing jobs back, help service industry workers, and raise wages.

All three countries are working together closely on implementation in advance of the Agreement’s entry into force.

Certain Nonwoven Fabric on Latest China 301 Exclusion List

On March 16, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 15015) Notice of Product Exclusions: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. This notice includes five more 10-digit statistical reporting numbers in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. that are being excluded from Tranche 3 China 301 tariffs:

3923.21.0030,

3923.21.0095,

3926.20.9050,

4015.19.1010, and

5603.12.0090.

The final classification, 5603.12.0090, relates to Nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated: Of man-made filaments: Weighing more than 25 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m2: OTHER THAN impregnated, coated or covered with material other than or in addition to rubber, plastics, wood pulp or glass fibers, or "imitation suede."

Petitions relating to this classification were filed by:

  1. NORTHERN PACIFIC FIBERS LLC
  2. Nutex Concepts of North Carolina Corp
  3. Oxco, Inc.
  4. Medline Industries, Inc.
  5. Crown Awards
  6. Jobe's Company
  7. Fluvitex USA Inc
  8. U.S. Nonwovens Corp.

The requests related to nonwovens for a range of applications, including bedding, upholstery, automotive, and building materials, but the most frequently cited use was in health care. Approval of these request follows a history of approvals for articles critical to health care. Importers of the nonwoven for non-health care uses will also get the benefit of the exclusion because Customs cannot know at the time of importation what the final use of an article will be.

Friday, March 6, 2020

2020 Federal & Defense Textile Summit, April 21-22, 2020

The Offices of Senator Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and the North Carolina Military Business Center are pleased to host the Southeast Region Federal and Defense Textile (FEDTex) Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina.

WHEN. April 21-22, 2020

WHERE. Harris Conference Center, 3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208

ABOUT THE EVENT. This Summit connects US Department of Defense and federal agency clothing and individual equipment buyers and requirements officials with textile manufacturers, supply chain, research and development testing and academic resources from across the Southeast U.S. All manufacturers of textile-based military, medical and related soldier systems – and their supply chain partners and R&D resources – should attend this Summit.

For more information and registration CLICK HERE.

Kathie Leonard: ‘Buy American’ legislation would benefit Maine businesses

"Maine’s economy depends on the success of businesses such as Auburn Manufacturing Inc. Unlike out-of-state businesses or multinational companies, Maine-based businesses are uniquely invested in their communities, their people and the future of this state. We provide quality, good-paying jobs, which help retain young people and generate local economic activity," writes Kathie Leonard is this opinion piece in the Sun Journal.

Contract for Army Combat Pants Awarded

Goodwill Industries of South Florida Inc., Miami, Florida, was awarded an $11,099,962 firm-fixed-price contract for Advanced Combat Pants. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Miami, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $11,099,962 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-20-C-0024).

Joules USA Recalls Children’s Pajamas and Robes Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard; Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves Joules girls’ and boys’ pajamas and robes sold in multiple prints and sizes. Joules is printed on the sewn-in neck label. Garments with the following item numbers, printed on the wash care label, are included on this recall.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled garments, take them away from children and contact Joules USA for a full refund.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Children’s boutiques nationwide and online at www.joulesusa.com from November 2017 through December 2019 for between $20 to $70.

Distributor(s): Joules USA Inc., of New York and Joules Limited, of England.

Manufactured In: China and Hong Kong

Recall number: 20-087

For more information and photos CLICK HERE.

Friday, February 28, 2020

National Industries for the Blind Awarded Contract for Advanced Combat Shirts

National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $13,641,430 modification (P00005) to contract W911QY-19-C-0025 for Advanced Combat Shirts. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $13,641,430 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Just Blanks Children’s Nightgowns Recalled by Ishtex Textile Products Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard; Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves Just Blanks-branded children’s 92% cotton and 8% spandex nightgowns. They were sold in sizes 12 months through size 12 and in two prints: Birthday and elephant. The birthday print has blue trim on the bottom and on the sleeves and the trim on the elephant print is pink. Just Blanks and tracking number 20190329 are printed on a sewn-in neck label.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled nightgowns away from children and contact Ishtex Textile Products for a full refund.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Sold At: Children’s boutiques nationwide from August 2019 through December 2019 for about $30.

Distributor(s): Ishtex Textile Products Inc., of Duluth, Ga.

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 20-082

For more information and photo CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

USDA and USTR Announce Progress on Implementation of U.S.-China Phase One Agreement

On February 25, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that China has taken numerous actions to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the landmark U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement on schedule. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020.

To read more CLICK HERE.

ICE HSI agents seize more than $2.5M of fake sports merchandise, tickets during NBA All-Star week

On February 25, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced that special agents seized nearly 127,000 counterfeit items, retailing at more than $2.5 million dollars, during a six-day enforcement action leading up to the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game.

The seizures were part of ongoing effort with the NBA and HSI to target those in the Chicago area who are committing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) theft. The Alsip (Illinois) Police Department, Wheeling (Illinois) Police Department and Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance.

From Feb. 11 – Feb. 16, HSI and local law enforcement partners identified businesses and street vendors selling counterfeit goods. They seized fake trademarked sports merchandise such as hats and shirts as well as counterfeit NBA All-Star Game tickets.

In fiscal year 2019, HSI seized more than $800 million in counterfeit goods and made more than 350 criminal arrests related to support of IPR enforcement operations.

The HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Textile Articles on February, 2020, List of China 301 Exclusions

On February 19, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced exclusions from the 25% China 301 tariffs.

Article descriptions for 47 types of merchandise were included in this list of exclusions, of which eight relate to textile articles--

9) Fabrics wholly of cotton, unbleached, plain weave, weighing not more than 100 g/m², of numbers 43 to 68 ("cheesecloth"), 3-layer folded and crimped, less than 28 cm wide after folding and crimping, compliant with standards of Aerospace Management Services (AMS) (described in statistical reporting number 5208.11.4090)

10) Fabrics wholly of cotton, bleached, plain weave, weighing not more than 100 g/m², of numbers 43 to 68 ("cheesecloth"), compliant with standards of Aerospace Management Services (AMS) (described in statistical reporting number 5208.21.4090)

11) Woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, dyed, weighing more than 280 g/m2 but not more than 420 g/m2 (described in statistical reporting number 5407.92.2090)

12) Sheeting fabrics containing less than 85 percent by weight of artificial staple fibers, mixed mainly or solely with cotton, such artificial staple fibers derived from wood, printed (described in statistical reporting number 5516.44.0022)

13) Non-woven fabrics of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), in sheets measuring not more than 160 cm by 250 cm, weighing more than 1,800 g/m2 but not more than 3,000 g/m2 (described in statistical reporting number 5603.94.9090)

14) Fabrics wholly of polyester, warp knit, bonded to a plain weave backing fabric, measuring not more than 141 cm in width, weighing over 271 g/m2, of a kind used to upholster furniture (described in statistical reporting number 6001.92.0010)

15) Knitted or crocheted fabrics of artificial staple fibers derived from bamboo (described in statistical reporting number 6003.40.6000)

16) Fabrics wholly of polyester, warp knit, printed, bonded to a woven backing wholly of polyester, weighing not less than 290 g/m2 but not more than 500 g/m2, of a kind used to upholster furniture (described in statistical reporting number 6005.39.0080)

Fabrics Sought for CAFTA Application

Agathon Associates have been contacted by an apparel manufacturer in Guatemala seeking the following fabrics.

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 87/13% Polyester/Wool 2 Layer Merino Wool 7,000 yds 3,000 yds 4,000 yds
Yarn number : Outside : 41s 70/30% Poly/Wool, Inside : 40s Polyester Spun
Fabric : Circular (Double Knit)
Weight : 230g/m2
Finished : Wicking

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 87/13% Polyester/Wool Thermawool 6,000 yds 3,000 yds 3,000 yds
Yarn number : 70s 70/30% Poly/Wool, Inside : DTY 100D/144F
Fabric : Circular (Double Knit)
Weight : 180g/m2
Finished : Wicking, Pin Brush Insade

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 57% EcoNyl Regenerated Nylon, 38% PA, 5% Spandex 2,000 yds 1,000 yds 1,000 yds
Yarn number : 152/70 Econyl Regenerated Nylon, 95/70 PA Covering Yarn with SP 40D
Fabric : Plain Weave with Spandex
Weight : 107g/m2
Finished : N/A

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 100% Polyester with a coated PU face 1,000 yds 500 yds 500 yds
Yarn number : DTY 150/144
Fabric : Circular (Single Knit)
Weight : 240g/m2
Finished : Pin Brush Inside

If you are interested in this business opportunity contact David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com and I'll put you in touch with the requesting company.

CPSC Staff to Meeting with ASTM on Wearable Technology

Patricia Edwards and other staff from the Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction will be meeting with ASTM staff regarding wearable technology and potential standards development. The meeting will be held on February 27, 2020 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at CPSC Headquarters in Bethesda, MD. For more information on this meeting, including room location, please contact Patricia Edwards (pedwards@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2224).

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

AFA 35th Annual Meeting: 3/31-4/1, 2020

The American Flock Association has announced that this year’s annual meeting will be in Washington, DC in conjunction with the National Council of Textile Organization’s annual meeting. Join powerful industry leaders for two days of meetings and networking. The Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday March 31 at 10:30. The afternoon will have special meetings leading into the evening banquet with the keynote presentation by Presidential Assistant Dr. Peter Navarro. Thursday morning, April 1, will begin with a buffet breakfast, then a morning filled with presentations, followed by a buffet lunch.

For more information, or to register, CLICK HERE.

NCTO Launches Blog Series on Sustainability in the U.S. Textile Industry

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, is launching a new blog series on sustainability in the U.S. textile industry.

They plan to use the series to highlight the significant strides the U.S. textile industry has made to mitigate the impact of manufacturing processes on the environment.

Two new blog posts which includes an interview with UNIFI, Inc.

Check NCTO Textiles in the News website frequently for updated interviews with textile executives. We will interview prominent U.S. textile companies about their sustainability commitments, goals and initiatives, while also amplifying the stories on Capitol Hill.

Oxford Bags, Big in the 1920s, Big in the 2020s

As seen in the March 2020 issue of Esquire.

USTR Announces Formation of Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office Pursuant to U.S.-China Phase One Agreement

On February 14, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the formation of a new Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office, as envisioned by Article 7.2.2 of the Phase One economic and trade agreement signed by the United States and China on January 15, 2020. This office will monitor China’s implementation of its commitments under the Phase One agreement and will be responsible for working with China’s corresponding Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office to address disputes that arise over implementation matters.

Ambassador Jeffrey Gerrish will serve as the “designated Deputy United States Trade Representative” heading the new Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office in accordance with Article 7.2.2(a) of the Phase One agreement. Interested parties may raise their concerns about implementation matters under the Phase One agreement by calling 202-395-3900.

This arrangement requires regular bilateral meetings to discuss implementation matters, with the parties meeting on a monthly basis at the “designated official” level, on a quarterly basis at the Deputy United States Trade Representative-Vice Minister level, and on a semi-annual basis at the United States Trade Representative-Vice Premier level.

Separately, the arrangement also establishes strong procedures for addressing disputes related to the agreement. A party can formally initiate a dispute by submitting an “Appeal” to the other party’s Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office. Consultations then take place in an attempt to resolve the dispute, first at the “designated official” level and then, if needed, at the Deputy United States Trade Representative-Vice Minister level and finally at the United States Trade Representative-Vice Premier level. If the dispute is not resolved through these consultations, the complaining party is allowed to take proportionate responsive action that it deems appropriate after providing advance notice to the party complained against. The entire dispute resolution process will take approximately 90 days. In addition, it has been expressly agreed that the complaining party in a dispute is not required to include information that could identify any company at issue or confidential business information.

The Phase One agreement entered into effect February 14, 2020. The text of that agreement can be found here.

USTR Revises $7.5 Billion Award Implementation Against EU in Airbus Case, Wool and Cashmere Sweaters and Wool Suits from the UK on List

Under President’s Trump leadership, the United States won the largest award in WTO history on October 2, 2019 when it was authorized to take countermeasures on $7.5 billion in goods after a victory in its unfair trade practices case against the European Union, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Pursuant to U.S. statute, the United States Trade Representative is now issuing a Notice in the Federal Register making adjustments to its WTO-authorized retaliation action, which was implemented on October 18, 2019.

Textile products of the United Kingdom described below are subject to additional import duties of 25 percent ad valorem:

HTSSubheading Product Description
6110.11.00Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool
6110.12.10Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of Kashmir goats, wholly of cashmere
6110.20.20Sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, nesoi*
6110.30.30Sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers, nesoi
6202.99.15Recreational performance outwear, women's/girls' anoraks, wind-breakers & similar articles, not knitted or crocheted, of other textile materials (not wool, cotton or MMF), containing <70 percent by weight of silk
6202.99.80Women's/girls' anoraks, wind-breakers & similar articles, not knitted or crocheted, of other texile materials (not wool, cotton or MMF), containing <70% by weight of silk,
6203.11.60Men's or boys' suits of wool, not knitted or crocheted, nesoi, of wool yarn with average fiber diameter of 18.5 micron or less
6203.11.90Men's or boys' suits of wool or fine animal hair, not knitted or crocheted, nesoi
6203.19.30Men's or boys' suits, of artificial fibers, nesoi, not knitted or crocheted
6203.19.90Men's or boys' suits, of textile mats(except wool, cotton or MMF), containing under 70 percent by weight of silk or silk waste, not knit or crocheted
6208.21.00Women's or girls' nightdresses and pajamas, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton
6211.12.40Women's or girls' swimwear, of textile materials(except MMF), containing 70% or more by weight of silk or silk waste, not knit or crocheted
6211.12.80Women's or girls' swimwear, of textile materials(except MMF), containing under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste, not knit or crocheted
6301.30.00Blankets (other than electric blankets) and traveling rugs, of cotton
6301.90.00Blankets and traveling rugs, nesoi
6302.21.50Bed linen, not knit or crocheted, printed, of cotton, cont any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work, n/napped
6302.21.90Bed linen, not knit or croc, printed, of cotton, not cont any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work, not napped
*

NESOI means Not Elsewhere Specified or Included.

To read the entire Notice, click here.

Federal Trade Commission Proposes to Add Seven New Generic Fiber Names

On February 18, 2020, the FTC published in the Federal Register (85 FR 8781) Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act

SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') proposes amending the Rules and Regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (``Textile Rules'' or ``Rules'') to incorporate the most recent ISO 2076 standard for generic fiber names. The proposed amendment should reduce compliance costs and increase flexibility for firms providing textile fiber information to consumers.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before March 19, 2020.

The Commission proposes to incorporate the most recent version of the relevant standard, ISO 2076:2013(E), ``Textiles--Man-made fibres--Generic names,'' Sixth edition, November 15, 2013 (ISO 2076:2013(E)), in Sec. 303.7 of the Textile Rule. The updated 2013 standard adds seven generic fiber names not defined in the 2010 standard: ``Chitin,'' ``ceramic,'' ``polybenzimidazol,'' ``polycarbamide,'' ``polypropylene/polyamide bicomponent,'' ``protein,'' and ``trivinyl.''

Commission staff has received several inquiries from manufacturers interested in initiating a proceeding to amend the Commission's list of approved generic fiber names under 16 CFR 303.8 to add ``chitin,'' a name recognized in ISO 2076:2013(E). Therefore, incorporating that standard into the Textile Rules will resolve the current requests, save the Commission and the manufacturers resources, and harmonize the two standards without the need to address other ISO recognized names individually.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Air Force and Navy Coverall Contract Awarded

Carter Industries, Olive Hill, Kentucky, has been awarded a maximum $30,294,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for men's and women's sage-green flyer coveralls. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is an 18-month base contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Kentucky, with an Aug. 11, 2021, performance completion date. Using customer is Air Force and Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1238).

Friday, February 7, 2020

President Trump Announces Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya

On February 6, 2020, President Donald J. Trump announced the United States intends to initiate trade agreement negotiations with the Republic of Kenya following a meeting at the White House with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

At the direction of President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer will officially notify Congress of the Trump Administration’s intention to start negotiations following the consultations with Congress that are required by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015—often referred to as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). USTR will also publish notices in the Federal Register requesting public input on the direction, focus, and content of the trade negotiations. In accordance with TPA, USTR will publish objectives for the negotiations at least 30 days before trade negotiations begin.

The announcement came while the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group held its third meeting in Washington this week. The Working Group, established by President Trump and President Kenyatta in August 2018, is laying the groundwork for a stronger bilateral trade relationship.

Trade between the two countries stands at about $1 billion a year. Over 70 percent ($466 million in 2018) of Kenya’s exports to the United States entered under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, almost all of which were textile articles.

A free trade agreement with Kenya would by first such U.S. agreement with a Sub-Saharan African nation, and the second agreement with an Africa nation (an FTA with Morocco was negotiated and implemented during the Administration of President George W. Bush).

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Federal Prison Industries Wins Army and Air Force Trouser Contract

Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $24,465,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for various types of trousers. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Washington, District of Columbia, Texas, Illinois and North Carolina, with an Oct. 5, 2021, performance completion date. Using customers are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-F057).

Monday, February 3, 2020

Fabrics Sought for CAFTA Application

Agathon Associates have been contacted by an apparel manufacturer in Guatemala seeking the following fabrics.

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 87/13% Polyester/Wool 2 Layer Merino Wool 7,000 yds 3,000 yds 4,000 yds
Yarn number : Outside : 41s 70/30% Poly/Wool, Inside : 40s Polyester Spun
Fabric : Circular (Double Knit)
Weight : 230g/m2
Finished : Wicking

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 87/13% Polyester/Wool Thermawool 6,000 yds 3,000 yds 3,000 yds
Yarn number : 70s 70/30% Poly/Wool, Inside : DTY 100D/144F
Fabric : Circular (Double Knit)
Weight : 180g/m2
Finished : Wicking, Pin Brush Insade

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 57% EcoNyl Regenerated Nylon, 38% PA, 5% Spandex 2,000 yds 1,000 yds 1,000 yds
Yarn number : 152/70 Econyl Regenerated Nylon, 95/70 PA Covering Yarn with SP 40D
Fabric : Plain Weave with Spandex
Weight : 107g/m2
Finished : N/A

FABRIC SPECS Need Q'ty in 2020 until March 2020 until June 2020
Fiber content : 100% Polyester with a coated PU face 1,000 yds 500 yds 500 yds
Yarn number : DTY 150/144
Fabric : Circular (Single Knit)
Weight : 240g/m2
Finished : Pin Brush Inside

If you are interested in this business opportunity contact David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com and I put you in touch with the requesting company.

K-Apparel Recalls Children’s Lounge Pants Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard; Burn Hazard

This recall includes children’s 100% cotton lounge pants. The lounge pants were sold in 18 prints. The lounge pants were available in children’s sizes small through extra-large. The loungewear pants have the brand name “TINFL” and one of the following lot numbers printed onto an inside side seam label: 58500-51, 58500-52, 58500-53, 58500-54, 58500-55, 58500-56, 58500-57, 58500-59, 58500-60, 58500-61, 58500-62, 58500-63, 58500-65, 58500-66, 58500-67, 58500-69, 58500-70, and 58500-71.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled lounge pants away from children and contact K-Apparel for a full refund. K-Apparel is contacting all known purchasers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Sold At: Online at www.amazon.com from October 2018 through September 2019 for about $18.

Distributor: K-Apparel, of Buena Park, Calif.

Manufactured In: South Korea

Recall number: 20-716

For photos and more information CLICK HERE.

Textile Articles on January 31, 2020, List of China 301 Exclusions

On January 31, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced exclusions from the 25% China 301 tariffs.

Article descriptions for 119 types of merchandise were included in this list of exclusions, of which three relate to textile articles--

36) Dyed sateen fabric containing artificial staple fibers, measuring 292.1 cm in width (described in statistical reporting number 5516.92.0060)

37) Rugs of 100 percent polyester or polypropylene, with brass grommets and stainless steel springs, each measuring at least 44 cm by 45 cm but not exceeding 56 cm by 59 cm (described in statistical reporting number 5705.00.2030)

38) Fabrics of 100 percent polyester, silicone coated, of a kind suitable for upholstery, weighing more than 90 g/m2 , meeting ASTM International standard G21, American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) standards 147-2004 and 30 and Chemical Fabric & Film Association (CFFA) standard 141 method II (described in statistical reporting number 5903.90.2000)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

DHS Releases Report on Combatting Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

On January 24, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its first report pursuant to President Trump’s April 3, 2019, Memorandum on Combatting Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods. The first-ever report outlines a series of recommendations and actions that can be taken by both the federal government and industry partners to combat this illicit trade epidemic.

According to the report apparel and other types of accessories, along with footwear, top the list at 18 percent and 14 percent of seizures, respectively.

The full set of recommendations can be found here.

CE HSI, CBP operation seizes record-breaking $123 million of fake apparel and other sports merchandise

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced Thursday the seizure of more than 176,000 counterfeit sports-related items, including articles of apparel, worth an estimated $123 million manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), through a collaborative enforcement operation targeting international shipments of counterfeit merchandise into the United States.

Read more HERE.

Army Helmet Chinstrap Contract Awarded

Lions Services Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $10,468,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for advanced combat helmet chinstraps. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year options periods. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Jan. 28, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-B082).

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ICE HSI seizes more than 700 counterfeit items day of National Championship game

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized more than 700 counterfeit sports-related items worth an estimated $300,000 during a joint anti-counterfeiting operation Monday in downtown New Orleans the day of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Read more HERE.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Army and Air Force Trouser Contract

Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $24,465,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for trousers. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Locations of performance are District of Columbia, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, with a Sept. 30, 2021, performance completion date. Using customers are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital fund. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-F056).

CPSC Scheduled to Meet with American Apparel and Footwear Association to Discuss Counterfeits

Commissioner Kaye and his staff will be meeting with representatives of AAFA to discuss third party marketplaces and counterfeit products. Participants will include Steve Lamar, Christina Mitropoulos, Kristen Kern, and Nate Herman. The meeting will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020, from 10 am – 11 am, in room 722 of CPSC Headquarters, Bethesda Towers. The meeting was requested by Kristen Kern. For additional information contact Jana Fong Swamidoss 301-504-788.

Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Feldman and staff will be meeting with representatives of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) regarding counterfeits and the liability of e-commerce platforms relating to the safety of products they sell. Participants will include AAFA representatives: Kristen Kern, Christina Mitropoulos, and Nate Herman. The meeting will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020, from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, in room 723 of CPSC Headquarters, Bethesda Towers. The meeting was requested by Kristen Kern. For additional information contact Teddy Tanzer at 301-504-7300.

China 301 Tarif Update

On January 22, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 3741) Notice of Modification of Section 301 Action: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

For many apparel articles on Section 301 List 4A an additional tariff of 15% on Chinese goods was imposed on September 1, 2019. The recent China deal will reduce that to 7.5% starting February 14, 2020.

This "Phase One" deal will not affect the 25% Section 301 tariffs imposed in 2018.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Pendleton Woolen Mills Announces Formation of Outerwear Division

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pendleton Woolen Mills, the lifestyle brand with roots as a Pacific Northwest woolen manufacturer since 1863, announced that as of January 1, 2020, it has successfully re-acquired its outerwear license from Item House Inc. and has retained the team that has helped elevate Pendleton's outerwear line. This transaction is the culmination of a long and successful partnership for two Pacific Northwest companies. Pendleton is focused on leveraging the technical fabric and outerwear expertise of Item House to expand on Pendleton's history of innovation in fabric and apparel suited for the outdoors.

Item House has been a licensee of Pendleton's since 1999. The core Item House team will remain in Tacoma, Washington as a Pendleton Woolen Mills satellite office.

"We are very excited to continue the outerwear innovation and growth we have witnessed throughout our partnership with Item House," said John Bishop, president and chief executive officer of Pendleton. "This is an investment in an important product category. We're looking forward to leveraging the expertise that our new team members have in technical fabrics and sourcing across other Pendleton lines. Our teams have been working together for years and our cultures mesh nicely."

"We are thrilled to see Pendleton continue to build on the outerwear momentum and take the offering to an even higher level," said Greg Davis, president of Item House. "Since our founding in 1956, Item House has been creating outerwear with a focus on quality, design and trends, which is aligned with Pendleton's history and vision."

The re-acquisition is an expansion of the iconic apparel and outerwear that Pendleton has been creating since the early 1900's. The transition will be seamless and is effective with the fall 2020 product line. The fall line has been a joint development and will feature a full range of outerwear for men and women.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Army and Air Force Apparel Contract Awarded

Carter Enterprises, Brooklyn, New York, has been awarded a maximum $21,105,765 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for coats and trousers. This was a competitive acquisition with six responses received. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is New York, with a Jan. 15, 2021, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1206). NAVY

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 20th, 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.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund Update

The Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund was authorized under Section 12315 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) and reauthorized under Section 12603 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) to reduce the economic injury to domestic manufacturers resulting from tariffs on wool fabric that are higher than tariffs on certain apparel articles made of wool fabric. The Agriculture Wool Trust is a mechanism for four types of annual payments:

  • Payments to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics
  • Payments Under the Monetization of the Wool Tariff Rate Quota
  • Wool Yarn, Wool Fiber, and Wool Top Duty Compensation Payments
  • Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products

Upcoming Changes to Tariff Classification will Affect Glass Fiber, Several Other Commodities

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System generally referred to as "Harmonized System" or simply "HS" is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization ("WCO").

It comprises about 5,000 commodity groups; each identified by a six digit code (subheadings), arranged under four digit in a legal and logical structure and is supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification. The system is used by more than 200 countries and economies as a basis for their Customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics. Over 98% of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS. The HS is modified every five years.

HS 2022, which is the seventh edition of the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature used for the uniform classification of goods traded internationally all over the world, has been accepted by the all Contracting Parties to the Harmonized System Convention. It shall come into force on 1 January 2022.

The HS serves as the basis for Customs tariffs and for the compilation of international trade statistics in 211 economies (of which 158 are Contracting Parties to the HS Convention). The new HS2022 edition makes some major changes to the Harmonized System with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders. Here are some of the highlights:

Adaption to current trade through the recognition of new product streams and addressing environmental and social issues of global concern are the major features of the HS 2022 amendments.

Visibility will be introduced to a number of high profile product streams in the 2022 Edition to recognise the changing trade patterns. Electrical and electronic waste, commonly referred to as e-waste, is one example of a product class which presents significant policy concerns as well as a high value of trade, hence HS 2022 includes specific provisions for its classification to assist countries in their work under the Basel Convention. New provisions for novel tobacco and nicotine based products resulted from the difficulties of the classification of these products, lack of visibility in trade statistics and the very high monetary value of this trade. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones, also gain their own specific provisions to simplify the classification of these aircraft. Smartphones will gain their own subheading and Note, which will also clarify and confirm the current heading classification of these multifunctional devices.

Major reconfigurations have been undertaken for the subheadings of heading 70.19 for glass fibres and articles thereof and for heading 84.62 for metal forming machinery. These changes recognize that the current subheadings do not adequately represent the technological advances in these sectors, leaving a lack of trade statistics important to the industries and potential classification difficulties.

One area which is a focus for the future is the classification of multi-purpose intermediate assemblies. However, one very important example of such a product has already been addressed in HS 2022. Flat panel display modules will be classified as a product in their own right which will simplify classification of these modules by removing the need to identify final use. Health and safety has also featured in the changes. The recognition of the dangers of delays in the deployment of tools for the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases in outbreaks has led to changes to the provisions for such diagnostic kits to simplify classification. New provisions for placebos and clinical trial kits for medical research to enable classification without information on the ingredients in a placebos will assist in facilitating cross-border medical research. Cell cultures and cell therapy are among the product classes that have gained new and specific provisions. On a human security level, a number of new provisions specifically provide for various dual use items. These range from toxins to laboratory equipment.

Protection of society and the fight against terrorism are increasingly important roles for Customs. Many new subheadings have been created for dual use goods that could be diverted for unauthorized use, such as radioactive materials and biological safety cabinets, as well as for items required for the construction of improvised explosive devices, such as detonators.

Goods specifically controlled under various Conventions have also been updated. The HS 2022 Edition introduces new subheadings for specific chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), for certain hazardous chemicals controlled under the Rotterdam Convention and for certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) controlled under the Stockholm Convention. Furthermore, at the request of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), new subheadings have been introduced for the monitoring and control of fentanyls and their derivatives as well as two fentanyl precursors. Major changes, including new heading Note 4 to Section VI and new heading 38.27, have been introduced for gases controlled under the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol.

The changes are not confined to creating new specific provisions for various goods. The amendments also include clarification of texts to ensure uniform application of the nomenclature. For example, there are changes for the clarification and alignment between French and English of the appropriate way to measure wood in the rough for the purposes of subheadings under heading 44.03.