Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Department of Defense Hot Weather Combat Boots Contract Awarded

McRae Industries Inc., Mt. Gilead, N.C., has been awarded a maximum $13,996,006 modification (P00002) exercising the first option year for Army hot weather combat boots. The contract is a firm-fixed-price contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a July 29, 2014 performance completion date. Using services are Army and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-12-D-1057).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Short Supply Request Filed Relating to Certain Polyester/Nylon Cut Corduroy Fabric

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("CITA") is considering a Commercial Availability Request for certain polyester/nylon cut corduroy fabric (file number: 184.2013.07.25.Fabric.Alston&BirdforSPCGlobal) as specified below.

Responses are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), August 8, 2013. Rebuttals are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), August 14, 2013.

SPECIFICATIONS: Certain Polyester/Nylon Cut Corduroy Fabric
HTS: 5801.32.0000
Fiber Content: 80-95% polyester, 5-20% nylon
Yarn Size:
Warp: Polyester filament between 111-222 decitex (English: 100-200 denier)
Fill: Polyeter filament 111-278 decitex (English: 100-250 denier) and bi-constiutent polyester-nylon filament between 222-389 decitex (English: 200-350 denier)
NOTE 1: In the bi-constituent yarn, the polyester and nylon are mixed prior to extrusion.
NOTE 2: The yarn size designations describe a range of specifications in its greige condition. They are intended as specifications to be followed by the mill in sourcing yarn used to produce the fabric. Weaving, dyeing, and finishing can alter the characteristics of the yarn as it appears in the finished fabric. This specification therefore includes yarns appearing in the finished fabric as finer or coarser than the designated sizes provided that the variation occurs after processing after the greige yarn and production of the fabric.
Thread count: 20-34 warp ends x 50-67 fill picks per centimeter (English: 50-86 warp ends x 127-170 fill picks per inch)
Weight: 220-290 grams per sq. meter (English: 6.48-8.55 oz per sq. yard).
Width: 142-162 cm (English: 56-64 inches)
Weave: Cut corduroy with 3-6 wales per cm (English: 8-16 wales per inch).
Finishing: Piece dyed or of yarns of different colors.

Esquire Mag Says, "You Should Buy American Made."

Esquire magazine's "Style Blog" for July 29th explains "Why You Should Buy American Made more....

GSP for Luggage and Travel Goods: Running the Numbers

I reported in May on a bill, H.R. 2139, to make certain luggage and travel goods eligible for duty-free entry under a program called the Generalized System of Preferences ("GSP"). Today I ran a report using the United States International Trade Commission's "Dataweb" to attempt to quantify the significance of this change. In 2012, the U.S. imported, from GPS eligible countries (that is eligible for GSP for other products, not travel goods, which are currently excluded), almost half a billion dollars of imports of products corresponding to the descriptions set forth in the bill. The total import duties collected on those shipments was $50 million. Furthermore, we may expect that, if those countries could export travel goods duty-free to the U.S., some of the current annual $8.5 billion in imports from other countries would shift productions to GSP eligible countries in order to take advantage of that duty savings. A list of the GSP eligible countries is available on the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative by clicking here. The detailed report on 2012 shipments from GSP countries is available on the Agathon Associates website by clicking here.

Recent Customs Ruling Shows the Complexity of Global Supply Chain

A recent Customs Binding Ruling relating to men’s trousers constructed from 65% polyester, 35% cotton, solid color woven twill fabric shows the complexity of the global supply chain and of the rules of free trade agreements. The trousers have a flat waistband with seven belt loops, a zippered fly front opening with a single button closure on the waistband, slant pockets in the front, two rear welt pockets, a button closure on the left welt pocket, and hemmed leg openings.

Customs ruled that the applicable subheading for Style 2670-005 will be 6203.43.4010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"), which provides for men’s or boys’… trousers, . . . and shorts (other than swimwear): of synthetic fibers: other: other: other: other: trousers: men’s. The rate of duty is 27.9% ad valorem.

The manufacturing operations took place in five different countries and were described as follows:

  • The warp and filling yarns are manufactured in the United States.

  • The yarns are woven into fabric in the United States. The 70% polyester, 30% cotton pocket lining fabric is manufactured in Pakistan.

  • The polyester fusible interfacing is manufactured in the United States.

  • The belt loop tape, left fly tape, waistband fusible, zipper chain brass, and the zipper slide brass are manufactured in the United States.

  • The bottom stop brass is manufactured in Japan.

  • The buttons are manufactured in China.

  • The waistband ticket, size/wash care label and sewing thread are manufactured in the United States.

  • The components are shipped to Mexico where the fabric is cut into component parts.

  • The parts are sewn and assembled into finished trousers in Mexico.

  • The trousers will be exported from Mexico directly to the United States.
A copy of the ruling, which sets for the reason the trousers qualify for duty-free entry under the rules of the North American Free Trade Agreement is available on the Agathon Associates website, to see it click here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How Will Proposed Free Trade Agreement Affect Small Business

On Friday, July 26, 2013, David Trumbull, Principal, Agathon Associates, attended a roundtable on "Transatlatic Trade and Investment Partnership ('TTIP') and Opportunities for Small Business," organized by the Massachusetts Export Center. While there he was able to question Christina Sevilla, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative ("USTR") for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Market Access regarding the U.S. commitment to lowering the European Union's ("EUs") non-tariff barriers in the textile sector.

The US and the EU have relatively low tariffs. The purpose of the TTIP, then, is not so much tariff phaseout, but, as the as the European Commission has stated: "[The] potential lies in the tackling of non-tariff barriers." By non-tariff barrier ("NTB") we mean customs procedures, environmental, workplace safety, and consumer protection regulations, standards, restrictions (such as the Berry Amendment) on government acquisitions, and other regulations that add a cost to trans-Atlantic trade.

A 2009 study by the European research and consulting firm Ecorys found that NTBs added 19.2 percent to the cost of European textile and clothing articles imported into the US. The added NTB cost for US textiles and clothing exported to the EU was found to be 16.7 percent.

The United State International Trade Commission is accepting, through October 15, 2013, comments relating to the TTIP and NTB, with particular emphasis on their affect on small business. For more information regarding this opportunity to comment, see the press release on the USITC website here.

On May 10, 2013, Agathon Associates submitted comments to the office of the USTR regarding TTIP, those comments are available on the "Textiles and Trade Blog" here.

ITC Finds Dominican Republic 2-for-1 Program Underutilized

In a report released Friday, July 26, 2013, the United States International Trade Commission ("USITC") found that four years after its implementation, the Earned Import Allowance Program ("EIAP") is not providing enough incentives to help boost the competitiveness of Dominican apparel exports in the U.S. market.

The EIAP allows apparel manufacturers in the Dominican Republic who use U.S. fabric to produce certain apparel to earn a credit that can be used to ship eligible apparel made with non-U.S.-produced fabric into the United States duty free. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, as amended, requires the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, to evaluate annually the effectiveness of the EIAP program and make recommendations for improvements.

The report, Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel from the Dominican Republic; Fourth Annual Review, is available on the USITC website here.

Opportunity to Comment on Barriers to U.S. Manufacturers Seeking to Do Business in Europe

The U.S. International Trade Commission ("USITC") is seeking information for a report that will identify trade-related barriers that U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") perceive as disproportionately (as compared to large firms) affecting their exports to the European Union ("EU").

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this at 9:30 a.m. on October 8, 2013. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on September 13, 2013, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, call 202-205-2000.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later 5:15 p.m. on October 15, 2013. All written submissions will be available for public inspection.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Apparel and Footwear and Travel Goods Associations Support Bill to Eliminate Import Duties on Certain Luggage and Travel Goods

The Travel Goods Association ("TGA") and the American Apparel and Footwear Association ("AAFA") have each endorsed a bill to make certain luggage and travel goods eligible for duty-free treatment under a program call the Generalized System of Preferences. Here are the links to the statements from those groups found on their websites: TGA Statement and AAFA Statement.

For more information on the bill, see my original May 30th posting here.

Reminder, Comments on Carbon Fiber FTZ Application are Due Monday, August 12th

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board by the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority, grantee of FTZ 83, requesting production authority on behalf of Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. (Toray), located in Decatur, Alabama. The application conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on May 30, 2013.

Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Toray from customs duty payments on the foreign materials used in export production. The company anticipates that some 15 to 20 percent of the plant's carbon fiber shipments will be exported, and some 5 to 10 percent of its PAN fiber production will be exported. On its domestic sales, Toray would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to its finished carbon fiber (duty free) for the foreign inputs noted below. (The PAN fiber produced at the plant has higher duty rates than any of its foreign-sourced components.) Toray would also be exempt from duty payments on any foreign-origin materials that become scrap or waste during production. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is August 12, 2013. For more information see my earlier blog post here.

CPSC to Address Small Businesses in Chicago on August 13th

On Tuesday, August 13, Neal S. Cohen, Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") Small Business Ombudsman, will speak to any interested small business in the metropolitan Chicago area at 1 pm CT. The presentation will be an overview of U.S. regulatory requirements for consumer products and will also explain the requirements and benefits of registering as a small batch manufacturer with CPSC. Presentation is free and open to the public. The presentation will take place in Room 331 in the Conference Center at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building at 77 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604.

Wednesday, July 31st Deadline to Submit Comments for Next Customs Commercial Operations Meeting

The Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC) will meet on August 7, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be open to the public. Public comments must be submitted in writing no later than July 31, 2013. For more information, see my earlier blog post here.

USTR Statement on the 18th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

On July 25, 2013, following the completion of the 18th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership ("TPP") negotiations in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, U.S. reported further strong progress on the goal, set by President Obama and the other TPP leaders, of concluding the free trade agreement this year. On July 23, the United States and the other TPP countries welcomed Japan as the 12th member of the negotiations. With Japan’s entry, TPP countries now account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP and about one-third of all world trade.

The 19th round of TPP negotiations will be held in Brunei from August 22-30. The member states are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Girls Boots Recalled By Renaissance Imports Due to Laceration Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Academy Sports + Outdoors

Units: About 5,000

Description: This recall involves Autumn Run brand girls Gemma II style boots with SKU number 0529-02613-1050. The SKU number can be found on a tag which is located inside the shoe, on the inner side of the collar. The brown roper style boots were sold in girls sizes 5 to 11. A paisley-print fabric sash and a leather beaded strap are tied around the boot.

Incidents/Injuries: Renaissance Imports has received one report of a consumer who was punctured by an exposed staple in the sole.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled boots from children and inspect the boots for exposed staples. Instructions for inspecting the boots can be found online at Boots that are stamped “INSPECTED” on the reverse side of the inside label have been inspected for staples and are not included in this recall. Consumers can return recalled boots to any Academy Sports + Outdoors store for a full refund.

Sold exclusively at: Academy Sports + Outdoors stores nationwide and online at between July 2012 and October 2012 for about $23.

Importer: Renaissance Imports, of Matthews, N.C.

Manufactured in: China

Dept. of Commerce Made in U.S.A. Database -- Is Your Company Listed

The U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel ("OTEXA") has launched a Made in the U.S.A. Sourcing Database! The purpose of this database is to list U.S.A manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors. This self-registered and searchable database is available to the public through OTEXA’s website at and can be a useful tool for those seeking to locate/source Made-in-U.S.A. textiles, apparel and footwear products.

FTC to Host Roundtable on Proposed Changes to its Care Labeling Rule for Clothing

As part of the Federal Trade Commission’s systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides, the FTC will host a public roundtable in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013, to analyze proposed changes to its Care Labeling Rule.

The Rule, officially called the Rule on Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods, requires manufacturers and importers to attach labels with care instructions for drycleaning washing, bleaching, drying and ironing of garments and certain piece goods.

In September 2012, the FTC sought comments on potential updates to the Rule. Based on comments the agency received, the roundtable will focus on a proposal to allow manufacturers and importers to include professional instructions for wetcleaning – an environmentally friendly alternative to drycleaning – on labels if the garment can be professionally wetcleaned and on whether the Commission should require a wetcleaning instruction for such garments. It will also address the cost of substantiating wetcleaning instructions, the availability of wetcleaning, consumer awareness of wetcleaning, and the content of labels providing a wetcleaning instruction.

The roundtable will also discuss the differences between ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) and both the 2005 and 2012 ISO (International Organization for Standardization) care symbols, whether labels should identify ISO symbols as such if used to comply with the Rule, the change in the meaning of the circle P symbol in the ASTM system, and consumer understanding of symbols. In addition, the roundtable will include a discussion about the absence of ASTM and ISO symbols for solvents other than perchloroethylene and petroleum. The roundtable also will address how to clarify what constitutes a reasonable basis for care instructions.

The roundtable will be held on October 1, 2013, from 9:15 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. in the FTC’s Satellite Building Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Requests to participate as a panelist must be received by September 3, 2013. Any written comments regarding the agenda topics, the issues discussed by the panelists at the roundtable, or the issues raised in comments received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking must be received by October 15, 2013.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Four Cosponsors Added to Travel Goods Bill

Representatives Jared Huffman [Dem., Calif. 2nd], Nita M. Lowey [Dem., N.Y. 17th], Jared Polis [Dem., Colorado 2nd], and Peter J. Roskam [Rep., Illinois 6th] have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 2139, a bill to eliminate the import duties on certain luggage and travel goods. For more about the bill, see my earlier write up here.

Trans-Pacific Partner Vietnam Cited by Labor Department for Forced or Indentured Child Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs yesterday announced a revised "List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor," adding six new products from five countries. Federal contractors supplying products on the list must certify the goods were not produced by forced or indentured child labor in accordance with Executive Order 13126.

The Departments of Labor, State and Homeland Security published a Federal Register notice updating the list that adds:

  • cattle from South Sudan,
  • dried fish from Bangladesh,
  • fish from Ghana,
  • garments from Vietnam, and
  • gold and wolframite from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Public comments were solicited, received, and considered in the agencies' final determination. ILAB published the first list in 2001 and revisions each year from 2010 through 2012. The complete Executive Order 13126 list, a bibliography of sources cited, frequently asked questions, procedural guidelines, and procurement compliance information are available online at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership Roundtable to be Held in Boston this Friday

The Massachusetts Export Center is offering a FREE U.S. - EU Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (T-TIP) Roundtable, Friday, July 26, 2013, in Boston. For more information or to register go to the Massachusetts Export Center website here.

Four Co-Sponsors Sign on to Made in America Act

On Thrsday, July 18th, Rep. Bruce L. Braley (Dem., Iowa), Rep. David N. Cicilline (Dem., R.I.), Rep. John K. Delaney (Dem., Maryland), and Rep. Keith Ellison (Dem., Minnesota) officially signed on as co-sponsors of the Made in America Act of 2013.

Bill Filed to Make Luggage and Travel Goods Eligible for GSP

I reported in May that Representative Ander Crenshaw (Rep., Florida) filed a bill (H.R.2139) to make certain luggage and travel articles eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences. The bill is co-sponsored by Representative Adrian Smith, (Rep. Nebraska). In case you missed it, you can read my summary on my Textiles and Trade Blog.

USTR Annouces Next Step to Address Worker Safety in Bangladesh

Friday the Office of the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") outlined next steps in efforts to address in a meaningful way worker safety problems in Bangladesh – the severity of which were exemplified in the tragedies of the November 2012 Tazreen Fashions factory fire and the April 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse – and, more broadly, the ability of Bangladeshi workers to exercise their full range of labor rights. The full text of the USTR statement is available on the USTR website here.

Visible to the Naked Eye

How should coated fabrics be classified? In my latest BeaverLake6 column, I examine the criteria for visibility in determining coated or laminated fabrics and conclude the rules are "as clear as mud." In some cases, the coated fabric has less duty than the base fabric. The distinction between a coated and non-coated fabric is particularly important when the fabric is being imported from a free trade partner. Click here to read the column.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Macy's Recalls Infants' First Impressions Varsity Jackets Due to Choking Hazard

Name of product: Infants' First Impressions Varsity Jackets

Hazard: The snaps on the jackets can come off, posing a choking hazard.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled products and return them to the place of purchase for a refund of the purchase price. Consumers who purchased the product from should return the recalled products to their nearest Macy's store or use the return shipping label enclosed with their original mail order.

Consumer Contact: Macy's toll-free at (888) 257-5949 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET or online at and click on Product Recalls for more information.

Recall Details

Units: About 8,700

Description: This recall involves infants' snap-up jackets with hoods. The hooded jackets come in navy blue with green and turquoise trim, or gray with yellow sleeves and navy and yellow trim. Style number 1300 is found on the label sewn into the side seam and the UPC code is found on the product hangtag. The recalled jackets come in the following sizes and UPC codes:

Size UPC Color
3-6 MO 766360093969 CHARCOAL
6-9 MO 766360093976 CHARCOAL
12 MO 766360093952 CHARCOAL
18 MO 766360093983 CHARCOAL
24 MO 766360093990 CHARCOAL
3-6 MO 766360094010 FIJI BLUE
6-9 MO 766360094027 FIJI BLUE
12 MO 766360094003 FIJI BLUE
18 MO 766360094034 FIJI BLUE
24 MO 766360094041 FIJI BLUE
Military Exchange
Size UPC Color
3-6 MO 766360738853 CHARCOAL
6-9 MO 766360738860 CHARCOAL
12 MO 766360738846 CHARCOAL
18 MO 766360738877 CHARCOAL
24 MO 766360738884 CHARCOAL
3-6 MO 766360738907 FIJI BLUE
6-9 MO 766360738914 FIJI BLUE
12 MO 766360738891 FIJI BLUE
18 MO 766360738921 FIJI BLUE
24 MO 766360738938 FIJI BLUE

Incidents/Injuries: No injuries reported.

Sold exclusively at: Macy's stores nationwide, on the firm's website and at Military Exchanges between September and November 2012 for between $25 and $52.

Importer: Macy's Merchandising Group, Inc., of New York, N.Y.

Manufactured in: China

Photos are available at:

Customs Commercial Operations Committee to Meet August 7th

The Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC) will meet on August 7, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be open to the public. Public comments must be submitted in writing no later than July 31, 2013.


The COAC will hear from the following project leaders and subcommittees on the topics listed below and then will review, deliberate, provide observations, and formulate recommendations on how to proceed on those topics:

1. COAC Survey Team: Review and Discuss Preliminary Results of the COAC 2013 Annual Trade Efficiency Survey and discuss feedback on past COAC recommendations.

2. The Export Subcommittee: Review and discuss subcommittee recommendations and the analysis of the 2013 COAC Export Survey Results.

3. The Trade Enforcement and Revenue Collection Subcommittee: Review and discuss the work completed to date on the Regulatory Audit Working Group's findings on the planned enhancements for the Focused Assessment process and the Intellectual Property Rights Working Group's effort to further evaluate the use of the Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) as a possible tool for use in Distribution Chain Management in Intellectual Property Rights Compliance.

4. The One U.S. Government at the Border Subcommittee: Review and discuss recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Working Group, review and discuss an update on the progress of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Working Group, and review and discuss a case study regarding the Partner Government Agency--Message Set (PGA-MS).

5. The Trusted Trader Subcommittee: Review and discuss the work completed by the Industry Standards Working Group (ISWG) and the Trusted Trader Measures Working Group.

6. The Global Supply Chain Subcommittee: Review and discuss recommendations regarding the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot and address the next steps regarding land border issues in the area of Beyond the Border and 21st Century Initiatives.

7. The Trade Modernization Subcommittee: Review and discuss recommendations addressing the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Development and Deployment Schedule and recommendations of the Role of the Broker Work Group.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Filed, Includes Certain Textile, Apparel, and Footwear Products

Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (Rep., Mich.), Ranking Member Sander Levin (Dem., Mich.), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes (Rep., Calif.) and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Charles Rangel (Dem., N.Y.) announced the re-introduction of H.R. 2708, the U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013. The bipartisan legislation provides temporary tax relief to help U.S. manufacturers better compete, expand and create jobs. This broadly-supported legislation lowers the cost of manufacturing inputs and some finished products not made or available here in the United States.

The package includes provisions from more than 2,000 bills introduced in the House and Senate during the transparent Miscellaneous Tariff Bill ("MTB") process. There are several provisions of interest to the textile, apparel, and footwear industries, a listing of which is available on the Agathon Associates website by clicking here.

The MTB is bipartisan, bicameral process developed over nearly 30 years and, through improvements made last Congress, is a model of transparency. On March 30, 2012, the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee simultaneously commenced the 112th Congress MTB process and invited Members to introduce temporary miscellaneous tariff bills for consideration and inclusion in the MTB legislation. Consistent with the Committee’s MTB guidance, Members were required to submit public disclosures noting whether the benefits are broadly available and if any Member/spouse has a financial interest. Importantly, the Committee’s guidance required each bill to be non-controversial: if a domestic manufacturer or Member objected to a bill, it was eliminated. The bills were scored by Congressionalk Budget Office ("CBO") and were required to be under $500,000 per year in foregone tariff revenue. Nearly 170 House Members and Senators submitted nearly 2,000 MTBs to be considered through the bipartisan, bicameral MTB process.

To ensure the highest degree of transparency, each of those individual bills was reviewed by, the Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the independent International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, which spearheads the review of the submitted bills for the Administration. The Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee also solicited public comments on the submitted bills and, to ensure transparency, posted the comments on the website of each committee.

Bills meeting the requirements of this rigorous process were compiled into a single bill, the U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013 (H.R. 6727) in the 112th Congress. In the 113th Congress, Members who introduced bills in the 112th Congress were required to submit 113th Congress Disclosure Forms to refresh their disclosure information by April 2, 2013, to have their provisions included in the MTB. No new bills were accepted into the process. Bills whose sponsors did not return in the 113th Congress were required to be adopted by another Member. The bill being reintroduced today reflects H.R. 6727 with a few modifications and technical corrections.

All documents pertaining to the MTB process can be found here on the Ways and Means Committee website.

North America Consumer Product Safety Summit

Health Canada's Consumer Product Safety Directorate will host the second trilateral North America Consumer Product Safety Summit with the United States Consumer Protection Federal Agency ("CPSC") and Mexico's Federal Attorney's Office of the Consumer ("PROFECO") September 9-11, 2013, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

At the Summit, consumer product safety regulators from Canada, Mexico and the United States will discuss areas of common interest and collaboration under the Cooperative Engagement Framework established at the first Summit in 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. Please note that the first day of the Summit, September 9, is for regulators only, and is not open to the public.

The Summit is also an opportunity for key stakeholders to hear about a variety of consumer product safety issues during the two days of open sessions on September 10 and 11. The sessions will feature five themes, outlined in the Summit Agenda Overview.

The open sessions will also be broadcast through live internet streaming.

For more information or to register to attend, go to the Consumer Protect Safety Directorate website here.

Copyright Offices Changes Addresses for Mail and Courier Delivery

The U.S. Copyright Office has revised the mailing addresses for filing claims and sending other correspondence and documents to the Office. The revised addresses direct such document deliveries to the appropriate location in the Office in a more timely and efficient manner. For more information see the Copyright Office website here

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boys’ Hooded Jackets Recalled by 5 Star Kids Apparel Due to Strangulation Hazard

Recall Details

Units: About 48,000

Description: This recall involves boy’s long sleeve hooded jackets sizes 2T to XL. The word “Mecca” is embroidered on the front chest of the garment and on the interior label sewn into the neck of the jacket. There are elastic drawstrings around the neck and waist. The style number can be found on a label sewn into the jacket one inch above the bottom seam on the left side.

Style NumberSizeColor
MK310702S-XLBlack, Coffee Bean, Keg Green, Khaki, Deep Sea Navy
MLK310702S-XLBlack, Coffee Bean, Keg Green, Khaki, Deep Sea Navy
MT3107022T-4TBlack, Coffee Bean, Keg Green, Khaki, Deep Sea Navy
MK31111509S-XLBlack, Dark Brown, Gun Metal, Khaki, Navy
MLK31111509S-XLBlack, Dark Brown, Gun Metal, Khaki, Navy
MT311115092T-4TBlack, Dark Brown, Gun Metal, Khaki, Navy

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Remedy: Consumers should remove the drawstrings immediately, cut drawstrings out of the garment including toggle and continue to use jackets once both are removed. Customers can return the product to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Sold at: A&E stores, All Kids Inc 27, Bergen Kids LLC, Children’s Town, Cititrends Inc., Concord Stores, Fordham Kids, Hudson Operating Corp, Kiddie Outlet, Modecraft/Burlington, Myrtle Kids, Pitkin Kids, Suitmart and Youngland from August 2010 through March 2011 for about $30.

Manufacturer: 5 Star Kids Apparel, LLC dba Mecca 5 Star, of New York, N.Y.
Manufactured in: China
More information here

Text and Summary of Made in America Act

On July 11, 2013, Representative John Carney (Dem., Delaware ) and Mike Fitzpatrick (Rep., Pennsylvania) introduce a bill (H.R.2664), which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, to direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a voluntary program under which manufacturers may have products certified as meeting the standards of labels that indicate to consumers the extent to which the products are manufactured in the United States.

The proposal would have the Secretary of Commerce establish "America Star" labels and set the standards that a product shall meet in order to bear a particular America Star label. The labels shall be consistent with public perceptions of the meaning of descriptions of the extent to which a product is manufactured in the United States.

A manufacturer that wishes to have a product certified as meeting the standards of an America Star label may apply to the Secretary for certification in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary shall by rule establish.

In establishing the America Star labels and operating the America Star Program, the Secretary shall consult with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure consistency with the requirements enforced by the Commission with respect to representations of the extent to which products are manufactured in the United States.

In establishing the America Star labels and operating the America Star Program, the Secretary should consult with private-sector companies that have developed labeling programs to verify or certify to consumers the extent to which products are manufactured in the United States.

The full text of the bill is available online by clicking here.

Industry Comments to the FTC Regarding the Textile Rules

On May 20, 2013, the United States Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") published a notice of proposed rulemaking and solicitation of comments regarding the Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. Comments were due by July 8, 2013. The FTC received seven comment submissions.

  1. Kevin Burke, writing on behalf of the American Apparel and Footwear Association ("AAFA") in his comments stated:
    • We are extremely pleased to see the Commission has made the decision to amend section 303.7 to incorporate the revised ISO standard:ISO 2076:2010(E), “Textiles – Man-made fibres – Generic names.”
    • We are pleased the Commission staff responded to our recommendation to provide continued advice and educational materials on how to properly label products with decorative trim and ornamentation.
    • We also welcome the Commission’s decision to amend section 303.17(b) allowing manufacturers to attach hang-tags to a product without the need to include full fiber content information on the hang-tag, provided all information included on the hang-tag is truthful and non-deceptive and provided the product has a label with full fiber content information.
    • we strongly disagree with the proposal to require continuing guaranties be renewed annually.

  2. AAFA also joined in comments submitted by the American Fiber Manufactures Association ("AFMA"), United States Association of Importesof Textile and Apparel ("USA-ITA"), Canadian Apparel Federation ("CAF-FCV"), National Council of Textile Organizations ("NCTO"), Retail Industry Leaders Association ("RILA"), and National Retail Federation. The joint comments:
    • Expressed support for adoption of the updated ISO standard for man-made fiber names.
    • Commend the Commission’s decision to amend the Rules to hold hang-tags to the non-deceptive standard, rather than requiring full fiber content disclosure, provided the label on the garment discloses the fiber content by percentage.

  3. Comments submitted by the European Commission sought clarification regarding country of origin labeling and regarding continuing guaranties. The European Commission also informed the FTC of new EU textile labeling requirements.

  4. The National Retail Federation in its comments reiterated support for the clarification of the rule as it relates to hang-tags (contained in the joint comments noted above) and expressed support for proposed modifications to the rules relating to continuing guaranties.

  5. Kristina Herrmann, on behalf of online retailer, submitted comments disagreeing with the FTC's proposal to modify the rules relating to continuing guaranties.

  6. Sally Kay, on behalf of the Hosiery Association, filed comments regarding the difficulty of complying with the labeling requirements relating to decorative elements or trimmings because "consumers are always asking for more environmentally friendly products; this means products with less packaging" on which to include such information.

  7. David Trumbull, Principal of Agathon Associates, consultant in textiles and trade submitted comments, stating "I am pleased to see that the Commission has accepted the recommendations, made by the industry, to incorporate the updated ISO standard 2076:2010(E) and allow certain hang-tags that do not disclose the product's full fiber content information. These changes will facilitate both domestic manufacturing and international trade and are particularly helpful in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

US Trade Official Applauds EU Commitment to Trade Liberalization, Raises some Issues of Concern to the US

Today Michael Punke, Deputy United States Trade Representative, spoke in Geneva at the eleventh review of the trade policies and practices of the European Union ("EU"). The occasion was especially well-timed, given the recent conclusion of the first round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement ("TTIP").

Trade between the US and the EU accounts for nearly half of global GDP and 30 percent of global trade. Every day, goods and services worth nearly $3 billion are traded across the Atlantic. Our investment relationship reached nearly $4 trillion in 2011. More than $9 million is traded between us every five minutes.

While acknowledging the EU's "strong support, over many decades, for a rules-based multilateral trading system and for the steady reduction of barriers in successive rounds of multilateral trade negotiations," Ambassador Punke raised several points of US concern regarding EU policies and practices:

  1. tariff and non-tariff barriers in agriculture and fishing,

  2. non-tariff barriers in the form of technical regulations and standards, particularly as relating to chemicals and wine,

  3. the EU's regulatory and legislative processes, which, Ambassador Punke stated "do not typically provide essential and meaningful opportunity for WTO Members and their stakeholders to comment on regulatory proposals,"

  4. significant procedural and methodological issues relating to the EU imposition of antidumping duties, and

  5. "inconsistent implementation of internal market rules [which] continues to constrain trade for EU and foreign producers alike.
The full text of Ambassasor Punke's statement is available on the USTR website here

Two Recent Customs Rulings Relating to Textile Flock and Dust

In a letter to Hanesbrands of Winston-Salem, N.C., dated June 28, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") ruled (Binding Ruling N243396) that a flock heat transfer is classifiable at 5601.30.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"), which provides for textile flock. In this case the the heat transfers consist of rayon flocking on carrier paper, with an adhesive in the design of a logo. The logo design will be heat-transferred to finished garments. The heat transfers measure 26mm x 26mm. The logo is produced by creating the image on a film or screen, then printing the image onto flocked sheeting. Then the adhesive is applied on the back of the sheet. In the heat transferring, both the paper and the adhesive are consumed, leaving only the textile flocked logo.

In another letter, to Carlisle Food Service Products of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, dated June 26, 2013, CBP ruled (Binding Ruling N242799) that a finely ground textile dust used as absorbent for industrial spills is classifiable at 5601.30.0000, HTSUS. The submitted sample is a product called SpillEater™ in its retail packaging, which is similar to a half-gallon milk container and contains two pounds (.91 kg) of the finely ground powder. It is described as a natural spill absorbent for industrial spills such as oils, turpentine, certain acids, and the like. The material safety data sheet states that it is “96% USDA Certified Bio Based Agricultural Plant Fiber and 4% Natural Crop Field Earth Ground to Specified Mesh.” In a telephone conversation Carlisle Food Service Products confirmed to CBP that the plant fiber is cotton fibers, not stem or stalk.

In both cases the textile product is question will be duty-free.

FTC Releases Draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018

The Federal Trade Commission has approved the release of the agency’s draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018 for stakeholder review and comment, as required under the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA), using guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget. Every four years, each government agency is required to prepare and submit an updated strategic plan covering activities for at least the following five years. The FTC's last updated strategic plan was prepared in FY 2009.

This strategic plan presents strategic goals, objectives, strategies, and performance goals for the next five years. It details how the plan will be implemented in the areas of consumer protection, maintaining competition, and organizational performance, on an objective-by-objective basis. The plan also explains external factors affecting achievement of the goals and evaluations and research efforts. Finally, it includes an overview of the planning process.

The draft plan is available on the FTC website here. Comments on the draft Plan are requested by August 16, 2013.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick Introduces Made in America Act of 2013

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) held a press conference Friday at the Rodon Group to announce the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would highlight American-made products and incentivize manufacturers to increase domestic production.

The Made in America Act of 2013 [H.R.2664]- introduced in the House Thursday- creates a voluntary, standardized labeling program that would allow consumers to easily identify the extent to which products are American-made.

“Americans know the phrase ‘Made in America’ carries a meaning of quality and craftsmanship – this bill helps consumers easily identify when they’re buying American,” said Fitzpatrick. “By connecting American consumers to American manufacturers like never before, we can bring more good paying manufacturing jobs back to the US.”

Over the past several years, global economic factors and increased efficiencies in U.S. manufacturing have led to an ‘in-sourcing’ trend that has seen more companies locate manufacturing facilities in the U.S. As American-made products are often associated with increased safety and quality, companies with U.S. manufacturing facilities have also started attracting consumers by identifying their products as American-made. This legislation standardizes that identification process.

The Made in America Act was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It was introduced along with Congressman John Carney (D-DE).

“We need to make things in America again. ‘The America Star Program’ will make it easier for consumers to find American-made products and support the companies that are committed to employing American workers,” said Carney of the bill. “It also creates an incentive for companies that are deciding whether to move production facilities back to the U.S.”

Congressman Fitzpatrick was joined at the press conference by Michael Araten, President and CEO of the Rodon Group- Hatfield-based makers of K’nex and a variety of other plastic products.

"Consumers around the world are craving American made products. The ‘American Star Program’ recognizes manufacturers like K’NEX and Rodon that make products here in the USA,” said Araten. “Just as importantly, this legislation encourages American manufacturing and the sale of American made products. In a global economy, the ‘American Star Program’ gives consumers’ certainty and manufacturers a competitive edge- That is what governing is all about.”

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

U.S. DEPARTMENT Of COMMERCE OFFICE OF TEXTILES AND APPAREL (OTEXA) will sponsor a USA Pavilion at ExpoProducción 2014.

OTEXA will sponsor a USA Pavilion at ExpoProducción 2014. Exhibitors in the USA Pavilion are offered a “turn-key” package of services including space rental, booth construction, table, chairs, carpeting, lighting, electrical outlet, signage, material handling, show directory listing and pre-show promotion.

ExpoProducción, February 5 – 7, 2014 is the only trade show to focus on the complete supply chain for the apparel, home goods and technical textiles sectors in Mexico and Central America. More information regarding ExpoProducción can be found on the website:

ExpoProducción 2013 Show Report:

ExpoProducción 2013 Exhibitor Prospectus:

To see the OTEXA notice click here.

CPSC to Address Small Businesses in Chicago on August 13th

On Tuesday, August 13, Neal S. Cohen, Consumer Product Safety Commission Small Business Ombudsman, will speak to any interested small business in the metropolitan Chicago area at 1 pm CT. The presentation will be an overview of U.S. regulatory requirements for consumer products (including children’s products) and will also explain the requirements and benefits of registering as a small batch manufacturer with CPSC. Presentation is free and open to the public. The presentation will take place in Room 331 in the Conference Center at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building at 77 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604.

Ways and Means Announces July 18th Hearing on President Obama's Trade Policy Agenda

House Ways and Means Chairman Camp has announced a hearing on President Obama’s Trade Policy Agenda with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman at1100 Longworth House Office Building at 9:00 a.m. on July 18, 2013. The hearing will provide an opportunity to explore with Ambassador Froman current and future trade issues such as: (1) developing and passing of Trade Promotion Authority legislation; (2) seeking to conclude a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement this year; (3) negotiating with the European Union for a comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreement; (4) negotiating a Trade in International Services Agreement that increases access for all sectors of our economy; (5) improving our important trade relationship with major emerging economies like China, India and Brazil, and addressing their trade barriers; (6) ensuring appropriate trade enforcement efforts; (7) advancing WTO negotiations, including “post-Doha” issues at the WTO such as Information Technology Agreement (ITA) expansion, a trade facilitation agreement and an agreement for trade in environmental goods and services; (8) negotiating Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with China and India and exploring new BITs and investment opportunities; and (9) establishing long-term, closer ties with important trading partners.

CPSC Accepting Comments Regarding Cords on Window Covering Products

SUMMARY: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) received a petition requesting the Commission to: promulgate a mandatory standard that prohibits any window covering cords, when a feasible cordless alternative exists; and require that all window covering cords be made inaccessible through the use of a passive guardian device when a feasible cordless alternative does not exist. The Commission invites written comments concerning the petition.

DATES: The Office of the Secretary must receive comments on the petition by September 13, 2013.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) received a petition requesting initiation of a rulemaking to promulgate a mandatory standard to eliminate accessible cords on window covering products. The petition was filed by nine organizations representing consumer groups, safety consultants, and legal counsel: Parents for Window Blind Safety; Consumer Federation of America; Consumers Union; Kids in Danger; Public Citizen; U.S. PIRG; Independent Safety Consulting; Safety Behavior Analysis, Inc.; and Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson (collectively petitioners). CPSC has docketed the petition (CP13-2).

The petition asserts that a mandatory rule is necessary because attempts to develop a voluntary standard that adequately mitigates the risk of injury associated with window covering cords have failed. Petitioners state that, based on CPSC's data, between 1985 and 2012, 324 children have been killed, and 122 have been injured by window covering cords.

To support their request for rulemaking, petitioners detail the history of the voluntary standards process for window coverings since 1985. Petitioners argue that although the first voluntary standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-1996, issued in 1996, addressed some hazards associated with outer cord loops, the manner in which this hazard was addressed did not fully resolve the strangulation and asphyxiation risk. The voluntary standard was subsequently updated in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2010, following CPSC recalls for unaddressed hazards related to rear inner cord fatalities on roman shades and lifting loops on roll-up shades. Petitioners argue that these efforts also had limited success, detailing additional fatalities and injuries. Petitioners assert that the most recent version of the ANSI standard, approved on November 28, 2012, still fails to adequately address the strangulation hazard posed by accessible cords on window coverings, despite increased international governmental and retailer pressure to address the hazard.

Petitioners assert that the voluntary standard is inadequate. They analyzed the incidents associated with window covering cords between 1996 and 2012 to determine what characteristic of the cord was involved in each incident. Of the 293 incidents that occurred during that period, enough data to determine the cord characteristic involved was available in 250 of the incidents. Petitioners conclude that 102 of these 250 incidents, or 40%, would not have been prevented by adherence to the current 2012 voluntary standard. Petitioners also detail characteristics of newer window covering designs that meet the voluntary standard but that Petitioners argue are more dangerous than traditional corded blinds.

Petitioners assert that substantial noncompliance with the voluntary standard is demonstrated by CPSC's 16 recalls involving blinds that purportedly complied with the voluntary standard since 2007. Petitioners state that CPSC found numerous other violations of the voluntary standard when evaluating roman shades and roll-up shades, including looped pull cords, no inner cord stops, no tension devices, and failure to attach tension devices to a continuous loop cord. Petitioners assert that many of these products had been on the market for years before the defects were detected and recalled.

Petitioners ask the Commission to issue a mandatory standard to eliminate the hazard posed by accessible cords in window coverings. The petition specifically requests that the Commission: (1) Promulgate a mandatory standard that prohibits any window covering cords when a feasible cordless alternative exists; and (2) require that all cords be made inaccessible through the use of a passive guardian device when a feasible cordless alternative does not exist.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Foreign Trade Zone Board Turns Down Application Relating to Rubber Coated Textile Fabric

On March 4, 2013, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport the Foreign Trade Zone Board, grantee of FTZ 39, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board on behalf of CSI Calendering, Inc., in Arlington, Texas.

The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (78 FR 18314, March 26, 2013). Pursuant to Section 400.37, the FTZ Board has determined that further review is warranted and has not authorized the proposed activity. If the applicant wishes to seek authorization for this activity, it will need to submit an application for production authority, pursuant to Section 400.23.R

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Federal Highway Administration Reviewing "Buy American" Rules for Steel

The Federal Highway Administration is seeking comments regarding the continued need, in whole or in part, for the general waivers from Buy America for manufactured products; for ferry boat equipment; and for pig iron and processed, pelletized, and reduced iron ores. These waivers have been in effect since 1983, 1994, and 1995, respectively. The FHWA is also seeking comment on the continuing need for the FHWA's minimal use threshold (currently established at $2,500 or 1/10 of 1 percent of the total contract value, whichever is greater).

Comments must be received on or before August 9, 2013.

For the July 10, 2013, Federal Register Notice go to .pdf

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Flock School Set for August 7-9

Register now for the 8th Triennial Flock School. Join other industry members on the beautiful University of Massachusetts campus for the 8th triennial American Flock Association FLOCK SCHOOL. The entire flocking process will be covered from choice of flock, substrate, and adhesive to coating and application techniques, as well as drying, curing, and post treatments. Break out sessions will address specific needs of the attendees.

Registration form and tuition information available at

Loro Piana joins the LVMH Group

The Loro Piana family has chosen to sell a majority stake in their family business to the LVMH Group.

Loro Piana is more than just a renowned label, it embodies a family's passion for the highest standards of craftsmanship and quality. With knowledge and experience gained over six generations, Loro Piana creates exceptional products and fabrics, especially in cashmere where Loro Piana is the leading specialist in the world.

The Loro Piana family began trading wool and fine textiles at the beginning of the 19th century and in April 1924 Pietro Loro Piana established the business in Qarona Sesia, Italy. His work is continued today by Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana. Under their leadership, Loro Piana has become the world's leading artisan in cashmere and the rarest wools and has developed a worldwide network of more than 130 exclusive boutiques where products are distributed under the Loro Piana name.

Loro Piana is globally renowned for its devotion to quality, innovation in textile products, unrivalled standards in design, in its search for new materials and for the quality of its craftsmanship.

Loro Piana uses the finest materials available in the world, such as baby cashmere; it is also a specialist in Vicuna, a species of animal which Loro Piana has made a fundamental contribution to saving from extinction; and many other exceptional meterials, not least the lotus flower and the exceptionally fine wools from merinos. At each stage of sourcing and production, Loro Piana combines exceptional craftsmanship with the most advanced technology in the pursuit of quality.

Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana commented:

The Loro Piana family is proud that our name is now associated with the LVMH Group. Under Bernard Arnault's leadership, LVMH has proved that it respects and nurtures family businesses and is most likely to respect the values and traditions of our Maison, as well as our desire to provide our clientele with unparalleled quality. By joining LVMH, a group built around a unique set of other historic Maisons, Loro Piana will benefit from exceptional synergies while preserving its traditional heritage.

Bernard Arnault added:

Loro Piana is an exceptionally rare Maison, rare in the unique quality and craftsmanship in its products, not least in cashmere and fine textiles, but also in the unbroken heritage and careful family husbandry over six generations. I am very pleased that Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana believe that our group is best able to ensure the future of the house of Loro Piana. Indeed we share the same values : family and craftsmanship allied to the tireless pursuit of quality, and I am convinced that our group will prove a good home in realising the significant future potential of Loro Piana.

Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana remain 20% shareholders and keep their functions at the leadership of the company. The transaction, subject to approval by the competition authorities, covers 80% of the shares for an amount of EUR 2.0 billion (enterprise value of 100% equating to EUR2.7bn). Loro Piana is expected to achieve 2013 sales of EUR 700 million, with ebitda representing over 20% of sales.

About LVMH:

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is represented in Wines and Spirits by a portfolio of brands that includes Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Krug, Ruinart, Mercier, Château d’Yquem, Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Vodka Belvedere, 10 Cane, Chandon, Cloudy Bay, Terrazas de los Andes, Cheval des Andes, Green Point, Cape Mentelle, Newton, Wen Jun. Its Fashion and Leather Goods division includes Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury brand, as well as Céline, Loewe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Thomas Pink, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Berluti. LVMH is present in the Perfumes and Cosmetics sector with Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo, Perfumes Loewe as well as other promising cosmetic companies (BeneFit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Acqua di Parma and Fresh). LVMH is also active in selective retailing as well as in other activities through DFS, Sephora, Le Bon Marché, Samaritaine and Royal Van Lent. LVMH's Watches and Jewelry division comprises Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Chaumet, Dior Watches, Zenith, Fred, Hublot and De Beers Jewellery, a joint venture created with the world’s leading diamond group. Loro Piana:

Loro Piana operates in the luxury products sector, making items of uncompromising quality and offering full lines of clothing, accessories and gifts which are all made in Italy with the best raw materials available in the world. Loro Piana’s discerning clientele are able to access our products through a worldwide network of direct sales outlets located in the most prestigious streets, as well as its website, and carefully selected network of multi-brand retailers. Loro Piana's heritage and experience dates back to six generations in the production of high-quality textiles, a sector in which it is the market leader. Vertical integration is the best guarantee of access to market-leading research and development, encompassing the most sought after raw materials and ensuring the control of the manufacturing process. With this tireless pursuit of quality allied to traditional traditional and Italian craftsmanship, Loro Piana is a benchmark in the world of luxury.

Friday, July 5, 2013

David Trumbull Comments on Proposed Changes to Textile Rules

The following comment was filed, Friday, July 5th, with the Federal Trade Commission

RE: Textile Rules, 16 CFR Part 303, Project No. P948404

Dear Mr. Clark, This is a response to the Federal Trade Commission's Federal Register Notice published May 20, 2013, requesting comments on the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to the Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act ("Textile Fiber Rules"). I consult to the textile industry regarding the Textile Fiber Rules and am pleased to see that the Commission has accepted the recommendations, made by the industry, to incorporate the updated ISO standard 2076:2010(E) and allow certain hang-tags that do not disclose the product's full fiber content information. These changes will facilitate both domestic manufacturing and international trade and are particularly helpful in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, negotiations toward which commence on July 8th.

David Trumbull, Principal
Agathon Associates

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Customs Reverses Ruling, Agrees that Coating on Fabric is Visible to the Naked Eye

Tariff classification under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") Heading 5903, "Textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics," has been one of the most vexing issues for many in the textile industry. Legal Notes 2(a)(1) and 5(a) in HTSUS Chapter 59 state that for fabrics to be considered visibly coated, the coating must be visible to the naked eye other than by change of color. U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") has ruled that the criterion for visibility is satisfied by any one of the following:

  • A change in the surface character of the fabric (HQ 082219, November 11, 1988)

  • The coating fills the interstices where the yarns intersect (HQ 961172, August 6, 1998)

  • The coating blurs or obscures the weave (HQ 089772, September 11, 1991)

No account should be taken of any resulting change in only shine, reflectivity, dullness or other property which causes the viewer to see the effect rather than presence of plastic material. See HQ 967884, dated October 26, 2005.

The question of whether a fabric is properly classified in Chapter 59 or elsewhere in the tariff schedule is particularly significant in the case of apparel or textile products imported from a free trade partner as, in many cases, the rule of origin for the finished product is "cut-and-sew" in the case of apparel or textile products made of coated fabric and yarn-forward for good made of most other fabrics.

In a recent CBP Bulletin (Vol. 47, June 26, 2013, No.27) CBP announced the modification of a ruling letter relating to a particular type of garment made in Canada.

In Binding Ruling NY N068477, dated August 6, 2009, CBP determined that, with regard to a certain Tactical Operations Dry Suit, the plastic coating of the outer shell fabric of the garment is not visible to the naked eye in cross section. CBP further determined that this product was classified in heading 6211, HTSUS, specifically 6211.43.0010, HTSUS, which provides for: "Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women's or girls': Of man-made fibers". Finally, CBP determined that this product did not satisfy the requirements of General Note (GN) 12, HTSUS, and was therefore ineligible for treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

It is now CBP's position that this product is properly classified in heading 6210, HTSUS, specifically 6210.50.50, HTSUS, which provides for "Garments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907: Other women's or girls' garments: Of man-made fibers: Other". Furthermore, it is now CBP’s position that the product does satisfy the requirements of GN 12, HTSUS, and is therefore eligible for treatment under NAFTA.

The outer shell of the garment is composed of a laminated fabric consisting of a top layer of nylon woven fabric, a middle layer of ePTFE, and a bottom layer of polyester knit fabric. The importer asserted that, because this outer shell fabric is properly classified under heading 5903, HTSUS, as a coated fabric that the instant product is properly classified under heading 6210, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part for "Garments, made up of fabrics of heading … 5903 …". However, in NY N068477, CBP stated that this outer shell fabric was excluded from heading 5903, HTSUS, by Note 2(a)(1) to Chapter 59, HTSUS, because the plastic could not be seen with the naked eye. CBP also found that the outer shell fabric was properly classified under heading 5407, HTSUS, which provides for "Woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn …". When reviewing fabrics assembled in layers under Note 2(a)(1) to Chapter 59, HTSUS, CBP examines the fabrics to ascertain whether the plastics layer is visible in the cross-section to the naked eye. See HQ H005538, dated November 30, 2007; HQ W968304, dated December 1, 2006; NY M82475, dated August 29, 2006; NY L80809, dated December 28, 2004. Additionally, CBP examines whether the plastics layer is visible through one of the assembled layers of fabric. In situations where one of the fabrics is of a loosely knitted or woven construction that allows the coating to be seen through that layer of fabric, CBP has considered such coating to be "visible to the naked eye." See HQ H005538; NY L89462, dated January 13, 2006; NY K87940, dated July 23, 2004 (both in which CBP found plastic film to be visible through a knit layer). Upon further review of the samples submitted on February 8, 2011, CBP has determined that the ePTFE plastic layer is visible to the naked eye through the knit polyester layer. Therefore, because the outer shell fabric is a plastic laminated textile fabric, in which the plastic layer is visible to the naked eye, it is properly classified under heading 5903, HTSUS. See also EN to heading 59.03; HQ H005538. Furthermore, in accordance with T.D. 91–97 and GRI 3(b), the garment is properly classified under heading 6210, HTSUS, which provides for "Garments, made up of fabrics of heading … 5903 …", because its outer shell is classifiable under heading 5903, HTSUS. See also HQ H042543; HQ 080817.

The relevant NAFTA rule states that a good shall be originating if there is "A change to headings 6208 through 6210 from any other chapter, except from headings 5106 through 5113, 5204 through 5212, 5307 through 5308 or 5310 through 5311, chapter 54, or headings 5508 through 5516, 5801 through 5802 or 6001 through 6006, provided that the good is both cut and sewn or otherwise assembled in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA parties.

As discussed above, this product is properly classified in heading 6210, HTSUS, and its outer shell fabric is properly classified under heading 5903. Therefore, the requirements of GN 12(t)/62.32C, HTSUS, are satisfied, because the component which determines the tariff classification of the good (the outer shell fabric) shifts from heading 5903, HTSUS, to heading 6210, HTSUS. See also GN 12(t)/62, Chapter Rule 3, HTSUS. The Style MSD577vSR product satisfies the requirements of GN 12(t), HTSUS. As such, it also satisfies the requirements of GN 12(b)(ii)(A), HTSUS, and is deemed to be NAFTA originating.

To see the complete text of CBP's modification of the ruling click here, the modification begins on page 50 and continues to the end of the document on page 62.

Consumer Product Safety Commission to Hold July 10th Public Hearing on Agenda and Priorities for 2014 and 2015

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will conduct a public hearing to receive views from all interested parties about its agenda and priorities for fiscal year 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013, and for fiscal year 2015, which begins on October 1, 2014.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

President Obama Suspends GSP Benefits for Bangladesh

President Barack Obama has suspended the designation of Bangladesh as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalize System of Preferences ("GSP"). The suspension will take effect in 60 days.


1. Section 502(b)(2)(G) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the "1974 Act") (19 U.S.C. 2462(b)(2)(G)), provides that the President shall not designate any country a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences ("GSP") if such country has not taken or is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country (including any designated zone in that country). Section 502(d)(2) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)(2)) provides that, after complying with the requirements of section 502(f)(2) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(f)(2)), the President shall withdraw or suspend the designation of any country as a beneficiary developing country if, after such designation, the President determines that as the result of changed circumstances such country would be barred from designation as a beneficiary developing country under section 502(b)(2) of the 1974 Act. Section 502(f)(2) of the 1974 Act requires the President to notify the Congress and the country concerned at least 60 days before terminating its designation as a beneficiary developing country for purposes of the GSP.

Certain Warp Stretch Woven Nylon/Rayon/Spandex Fabric Added to DR-CAFTA Short Supply List

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("CITA") has determined that certain warp stretch woven nylon/rayon/spandex fabric, as specified below, is not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the countries of the United States-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement ("DR-CAFTA") region.

Specifications: Certain Warp Stretch Woven Nylon/Rayon/Spandex Fabric

HTS: 5516.22.0040 or 5516.23.0040.
Fiber Content: Rayon (67-80%), Nylon (15-35%), Spandex (2-6%).
Yarn Configuration:
Warp: Nylon filament combined with spandex filament.
Filling: Rayon staple.
Yarn Denier: Nylon and Spandex of various deniers.
Width: 56-60'' (142-153 cm).
Weight: 220-315 grams per square meter.
Thread Count (Density): 76-110 ends per inch (Warp) X 70-90 picks per inch (Filling); (30-44 ends per cm (Warp) X 27-36 picks per cm (Filling)).
Weave Type: Twill Weave.
Processes: Airjet Dyed.

The determination was made following a request received May 23, 2013, from Grunfeld Desiderio Lebowitz Silverman Klestadt on behalf of PCA Textiles of New York, New York.

Monday, July 1, 2013

CITA Announces Reduction in Nicaragua TPL for 2013

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements has announced a reduction in 2013 TPL for Nicaragua to 98,447,866 square meters equivalent to account for the shortfall in meeting the one-to-one commitment for cotton and man-made fiber woven trousers exported from Nicaragua to the United States

Background: Annex 3.28 of the CAFTA-DR establishes a Tariff Preference Level (TPL) for non-originating apparel goods of Nicaragua. Section 1634(a)(2) of the Pension Protection Act references the exchange of letters between the United States and Nicaragua, which establishes the one-to-one commitment for cotton and man-made fiber trousers. Section 1634(c)(2) of the Pension Protection Act authorizes the President to proclaim a reduction in the overall limit in the TPL if the President determines that Nicaragua has failed to comply with the one-to-one commitment. In Presidential Proclamation 8111, the President delegated to CITA the authority to determine whether Nicaragua had failed to comply with the one-to-one commitment and to reduce the overall limit in the TPL.

In an exchange of letters dated March 24 and 27, 2006, Nicaragua agreed that for each square meter equivalent (SME) of exports of cotton and man-made fiber woven trousers entered under the TPL, Nicaragua would export to the United States an equal amount of cotton and man-made fiber woven trousers made of U.S. formed fabric of U.S. formed yarn. Any shortfall in meeting this commitment that was not rectified by April 1 of the succeeding year would be applied against the TPL for the succeeding year. For 2012, the shortfall in meeting the one-to-one commitment is 1,552,134 square meters equivalent. This amount is being deducted from the 2013 TPL, resulting in a new TPL level for 2013 of 98,447,866 square meters equivalent.