On April 29, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai met virtually with National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kimberly Glas and representatives of several NCTO member companies to discuss the COVID-19 response and the mobilization of the textile industry to produce Made-in-the-USA personal protective equipment (PPE). Ambassador Tai thanked NCTO for the textile industry’s crucial and ongoing role in the response. They discussed their shared interest in building and sustaining a resilient and secure U.S. supply chain for PPE. The Ambassador and NCTO agreed to remain in contact on this topic going forward.
Copyright 2015, Agathon Associates, Consultants in Textiles and Trade, Blog by David Trumbull
Friday, April 30, 2021
Readout of Ambassador Katherine Tai’s virtual meeting with the National Council of Textile Organizations about the Covid-19 response and personal protective equipment
Thursday, April 29, 2021
NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas Testifies on Supply Chain Resiliency at House Small Business Subcommittee Hearing
On April 29, 2021, National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas testified on “Supply Chain Resiliency and the Role of Small Manufacturers” before the Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access.
In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas provided an overview of the incredible resiliency of the U.S. textile industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the ensuing economic crisis, existing options available to small manufacturers to access capital, and policy recommendations to strengthen the entire industry domestic supply chain.
View the full written testimony by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas HERE.
AAFA Submits Comments to Dept. of Defense Regarding America’s Supply Chains
The American Apparel and Footwear Association has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Defense’s request regarding risks in the supply chain for strategic and critical materials and policy recommendations to address these risks.
Read the letter HERE.
Army Dress Coat Contract Awarded
CPSC's Joanna Matheson Participating in ASTM D13.50 Virtual Subcommittee Meeting Regarding Updates on Smart Textile Projects
Joanna Matheson, Consumer Product Safety Commission Directorate for Health Sciences, will participate in the ASTM D13.50 meeting via teleconference. The meeting is being held on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, from 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST. This meeting will provide updates on smart textile activities. For additional information, including call-in information, contact Joanna Matheson at: firstname.lastname@example.org, (301) 987-2564.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Navy Parka Contract Awarded to Federal Prison Industries
Virtual Event: 2021 Global Supply Chain & Trade Conference
The American Apparel and Footwear Association has announced Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, as key government speaker at the 2021 Global Supply Chain & Trade Conference, May 25 & 26, 2021
The Honorable Gina Raimondo serves as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce. She is focused on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete. Secretary Raimondo was formerly the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and its first woman governor.
During her time as Governor, Secretary Raimondo kick-started the state’s economy and made record investments in infrastructure, education, and job training. She focused tirelessly on creating economic opportunities and good-paying jobs for all Rhode Islanders.
For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.
Make connections with the textile industry in India
The webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 5th at the special time of 9:30 AM (to accommodate the time difference with India). So pour a mid-morning coffee and please join us. Here’s the registration link:
Thursday, April 22, 2021
40 Senators Ask USTR to Restart China 301 Exclusion Process
On April 21, 2021,U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE), along with 38 other members of the Senate, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai, asking her to restart the exclusion process for imports from China subject to tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The Trump administration set up an exclusion process to help U.S. manufacturers and businesses receive relief from the tariffs when an imported good was not available outside of China, or when the tariffs caused severe economic harm to U.S. industry. Unfortunately, those exclusions expired at the end of 2020, and the Biden administration has not restarted a process for businesses to apply for new exclusions.
Senator Portman and Carper were joined by Senators Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME), John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), James Lankford (R-OK), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Risch (R-ID), Joni K. Ernst (R-IA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Roger F. Wicker (R-MS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Boozman (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Todd Young (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), M. Michael Rounds (R-SD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“In order to provide certainty and predictability to these businesses, and give them time to plan and modify their supply chains, we ask that you renew expired and expiring Section 301 exclusions. Doing so will give American businesses relief until a full exclusion process can be reinstated,” wrote the Senators. “We were pleased to see the Biden Administration renew exclusions granted by the Trump Administration for health-related imports to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the longer-term, we hope that you will restart a process to permit companies to apply for exclusions. Such a process should emphasize transparency, speed, consistency, and fairness, and should acknowledge both the practical realities of global value chains and the broader aim of supply chain diversification.
Read the letter HERE
BRAV USA Recalls Youth Jackets with Drawstrings Due to Strangulation and Entrapment Hazards
Description: This recall involves Swix branded winter jackets with a drawstring in the hood and a drawstring in the waist. They were sold under the name Focus Down Jacket Jr., item number 13162. The jackets were sold in three colors; black, navy and red. They were sold in four European format junior sizes; 128 (8-10yrs), 140 (10-12yrs), 152 (12-14yrs) and 164 (14-16yrs). The front of the jacket has light gray paneling on the upper chest, and the Swix brand logo is on the left chest. The down filled, winter jacket was designed and marketed to winter athletes for use in winter athletics, such as Nordic skiing. The item number can be found on the hang tag.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled jacket away from children and remove the drawstrings to eliminate the hazard, or return the jacket to BRAV USA for a full refund, shipping included.
Incidents/Injuries: No incidents or injuries have been reported.
Sold At: WMS Store, Gallatin Alpine Sports and other outdoor and ski apparel stores nationwide and online at www.swixonline.com to ski racing clubs and others from September 2020 through March 2021 for about $160.
Importer(s): BRAV USA Inc., of Haverhill, Mass.
More information and photos HERE.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Rhode Island Company Hyman Brickle & Son Awarded Face Cover Contract
Hyman Brickle & Son Inc., Woonsocket, Rhode Island, has been awarded a maximum $20,352,000 firm‐fixed‐price, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract under solicitation SPE1C1‐20‐R‐0162 for Lot 2 multi-ply face covers. This was a competitive acquisition with 30 responses received. This is a two‐year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Rhode Island and New York, with an April 18, 2023, ordering period end date. Using customers are Army, Civil-Military Operations and National Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1‐21‐D‐1447).
Vietnam Removed from List of Countries Manipulating Their Currency
On April 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a Report to Congress on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States.
In a December 2020 Report,the U.S. Department of the Treasury found that Switzerland and Vietnam practiced currency manipulation for the four quarters through June 2020. For the four quarters ending in 2020, based on initial enhanced engagements with Vietnam and Switzerland further analysis, and data, Treasury has determined that there is insufficient evidence to make a finding that either economy manipulates its exchange rate.
Treasury has also established a Monitoring List of major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices and macroeconomic policies. The Monitoring List comprises China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Mexico.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
CBP Seizes Counterfeit N95 Masks
On April 7, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Houston Seaport intercepted a shipment of counterfeit N95 masks that with an estimated Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of almost $350,000.
The shipment of counterfeit masks originated in China and were destined to White Plains, N.Y.
Read more HERE.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Marine Physical Training Uniform Contracts Awarded
Target Recalls Cat & Jack Baby Rompers Due to Choking Hazard
This recall involves Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Rompers. The rompers were sold in sizes newborn to 24M. They have gray knit fabric with red trim on the wrists, ankles and pockets, red hearts on the knees and the hood, red and white-striped lining inside the hood and snaps on the legs. The product item number is printed on the white tag inside of the romper. Rompers with the following product item numbers are included in the recall:
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - Newborn
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - 0-3 Months
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - 3-6 Months
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - 6-9 Months
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - 12 Months
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - 18 Months
Cat & Jack Baby Heart Ears Romper - 24 Months
Consumers should immediately take the recalled rompers away from children and return them to any Target Store for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the romper on Target.com can contact Target to receive a prepaid return label to return the romper.
The firm has received 40 reports of the hearts peeling or detaching, including one report of a child choking
Target stores nationwide and online at Target.com from November 2020 through February 2021 for about $13.
Target Corp., of Minneapolis, Minn.
More information and photos HERE
Monday, April 19, is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts and Maine
Monday, April 19, 2021, is Patriots' (plural possessive) Day in Massachusetts and Patriot's (singular possessive) Day in Maine.
"Listen, my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five."
New England's original "On the Road" man looms large in these parts -- life-sized, in fact, in bronze, in Boston's North End. There, as well, you'll find his house preserved, just as his ride is preserved in the Longfellow poem.
"You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled --"
The battles that morning of April 19 in the Massachusetts towns of Concord, Lexington, and Menotomy (now Arlington) officially mark the beginning of the American War of Independence. The war formally concluded September 3, 1783, with the Treaty of Paris, although it was effectively over a few months earlier. In Massachusetts and Maine (part of Massachusetts until 1820, when, under the "Missouri Compromise" Maine, a free State was admitted to the Union, paired with Missouri, a slave State) we celebrate the beginning of our independence as Patriots'/Patriot's Day, and, in normal years, like Revere, we take to the road in a renowned twenty-six miles of road from Hopkinton to Boston.
The Boston Marathon has been run since 1897. The first modern marathon was run at the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The inspiration for the race was the (questionable) tale of Pheidippides, who after the Greeks, in late summer 490 B.C., won the Battle of Marathon, ran the 26 miles to Athens, said a single word "Victory," and dropped dead. At Marathon Greece, freedom, democracy, and Western civilization faced and defeated the forces of Oriental absolutism. It is a battle that has been fought many times. It will be fought many more times. Freedom must always be prepared to fight just to be free.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Your IP Matters! How to Protect Your Ingenuity and Creativity from Infringing Imports
In recognition of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day theme, “IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Trade, is pleased to announce the following complimentary webinar: Your IP Matters! How to Protect Your Ingenuity and Creativityfrom Infringing ImportsApril 26th, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time).
For more information or to register CLICK HERE.
USITC Accepting Comments on Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act
On April 13, 2021, the U.S. International Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (86 FR 19283) Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Beneficiary Countries.
Section 215(a)(1) of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) (19 U.S.C. 2704(a)(1)) requires that the Commission submit biennial reports to the Congress and the President regarding the economic impact of the Act on U.S. industries and consumers, and on the economy of the beneficiary countries. Section 215(b)(1) requires that the reports include, but not be limited to, an assessment regarding:
(A) The actual effect, during the period covered by the report, of [CBERA] on the United States economy generally, as well as on those specific domestic industries which produce articles that are like, or directly competitive with, articles being imported into the United States from beneficiary countries; and
B) the probable future effect which this Act will have on the United States economy generally, as well as on such domestic industries, before the provisions of this Act terminate.
The report will cover trade with the 17 beneficiary countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Curac ̧ao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Biden Administration Legal Team Outlines Defense in China Section 301 Case
On September 11, 2020, a lawsuit was filed challenging the legality of the Section 301 tariffs on China. It specifically challenges List 3 and List 4. Over 3,000 additional plantiffs have filed copy cat cases.
On March 12, 2021, the government filed its outline of ANTICIPATED DEFENSES
1. USTR was acting at the direction of the President in promulgating List 3 and List 4, and the President is not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
2. Review of the President’s discretionary decisions, and USTR’s implementation of those decisions, present a non-justiciable, political question.
3. Even if the challenged actions could be considered actions of USTR, substantial deference is afforded, and the Court should not interpose because there was no clear misconstruction of a governing statute, significant procedural violation, or action outside delegated authority.
4. USTR (acting at the direction of the President) possessed the authority under Section 307 of the Trade Act to promulgate List 3 and List 4, because the burden or restriction on United States commerce of China’s acts, policies, and practices that were the subject of the Section 301 action continued to increase, including following the one-year investigation period, and because the previous actions taken in response to the Section 301 investigation proved to no longer be appropriate, as the actions were not effective in eliminating the unfair trade practices that were the subject of that investigation. In addition, Section 307 does not limit modifications to merely delaying, tapering, or terminating an action.
5. Alternatively, if the challenged actions constitute agency action, they are exempt from the APA’s informal rulemaking requirements, because they qualify for the foreign affairs function exception.
6. Even if the APA’s informal rulemaking requirements apply, USTR’s actions in promulgating List 3 and List 4 complied with all statutory requirements, and they were not arbitrary and capricious, contrary to law, or in excess of statutory authority.
More information is available at https://news.bloomberglaw.com/international-trade/biden-white-house-defends-trump-china-tariffs-in-legal-showdown.
Army and Air Force Coat Contract Awarded
U.S. Secretary of State Reports that Hong Kong Does not Warrent Differential Treatment from China
Over the past year, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has continued to dismantle Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, in violation of its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law. In particular, the PRC government's adoption and the Hong Kong government’s implementation of the National Security Law (NSL) have severely undermined the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong.
Each year, the Department of State submits to Congress the Hong Kong Policy Act Report and accompanying certification. In conjunction with this year’s report, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Bliken has certified to Congress that Hong Kong does not warrant differential treatment under U.S. law in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1, 1997.
This report documents many of the actions the PRC and Hong Kong governments have taken against Hong Kong’s promised high degree of autonomy, freedoms, and democratic institutions. These include the arbitrary arrests and politically-motivated prosecutions of opposition politicians, activists, and peaceful protesters under the NSL and other legislation; the postponement of Legislative Council elections; pressure on judicial independence and academic and press freedoms; and a de facto ban on public demonstrations.
Agathon Associates Comments on FTC Wool Rules
On February 8, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (86 FR 8641) Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension
The Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 (Wool Act) prohibits the misbranding of wool products. The Wool Rules establish disclosure requirements that assist consumers in making informed purchasing decisions and recordkeeping requirements that assist the Commission in enforcing the Rules. The FTC provided this opportunity for public comment before requesting that OMB extend the existing clearance for the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Wool Rules.
Agathon Associates submitted the following comment--
The Rules and Regulations under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 serve three important functions. (1) They implement the Wool Act's charge to the Commission to enforce the Wool Act and provide clarification regarding the Commission's enforcement of the Act. (2) They implement industry best practices relating to the labeling of article of wool, thus providing some protection for good actors in the wool apparel trade from unfair competition from those who would make incomplete, inaccurate, or false representations about their merchandise absent the Rules. (3) They protect consumers from such incomplete, inaccurate, or false representations regarding merchandise. This third point is extremely important. Consumers have no independent way of verifying country of origin and fiber content of apparel. They rely on the labels that are required, and regulated, by the Wool Rules. Consumers are defrauded when articles they buy are not as represented on the labels.
The Rules do not impose an unnecessary burden on businesses. They are what honest traders would do anyway; they are a burden to only those who would cheat consumers and unfairly compete against other business. The Rules have been in place for many years; businesses know and understand their obligation to comply, and compliance costs are not excessively burdensome.
Respectfully submitted, David Trumbull
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Air Force Poly-Wool Fabric Contract Awarded
California Requirement for Flammability of Upholstered Furniture Will Be Federal Standard Effective June 25, 2021
In a Federal Register Noticee scheduled to be published April 9, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission or CPSC) is issuing a direct final rule to codify in the Code of Federal Regulations the statutory requirements for the flammability of upholstered furniture under the COVID -19 Regulatory Relief and Work From Home Safety Act. This Act mandates that CPSC promulgate California Technical Bulletin 117-2013 as a flammability standard for upholstered furniture under section 4 of the Flammable Fabrics Act. The rule is effective on June 25, 2021, and applies to upholstered furniture manufactured, imported, or reupholstered on or after that date.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Army and Air Force Trouser Contract Awarded
Face Cover Contract Awarded
RH Recalls Children’s Bath Wraps Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard
This recall involves three styles of hooded children’s bath wraps: Animal, Heathered Plush, and Luxe Sherpa. The bath wraps have attached belts and patch pockets. The size and “RH BABY&CHILD” or “baby & child RESTORATION HARDWARE” are printed on a sewn-in label at the neck.
The Animal Bath Wraps are made of cotton terry and have faces on the hoods sewn to resemble one of the following animals: Bunny (ivory or petal colors), cat, dog, dragon, elephant, lion, monkey, moose or unicorn. They were sold in sizes 2-3 years, 3-4 years and 4-5 years.
The Heathered Plush Bath Wraps are made of a heathered polyester plush fabric and were sold in blue, gray, lilac and pink, and in sizes 18-24 months, 2-3 years, 3-4 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years and 8-10 years.
The Luxe Sherpa Bath Wraps have a jersey exterior made of a polyester, rayon and spandex blend and a polyester sherpa fleece lining. They were sold in charcoal, gray, ivory, lilac, navy and pink, and in sizes 18-24 months, 2-3 years, 3-4 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years and 8-10 years.
The SKU or UPC of the bath wraps included in this recall can be found at https://rh.com/content/page.jsp?id=safety-recalls. The SKU or UPC is located on the purchase receipt.
Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled bath wraps and contact RH for a full refund of the purchase price, or credit of $35 for the Animal Bath Wrap, $32 for the Heathered Bath Wrap or $39 for the Sherpa Bath Wrap, if the consumer’s purchase price cannot be determined. RH is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries: No incidents or injuries have been reported.
Sold At: RH Baby & Child Galleries and RH Outlets nationwide and online at www.rh.com and www.rhbabyandchild.com from April 2014 through November 2020 for between $1 and $64.
Importer(s): RH US LLC, of Corte Madera, Calif.
Manufactured In: China or Turkey
Recall number: 21-102
Read more and see photos HERE.
Army and Air Force Clothing Contract Awarded
Thursday, April 1, 2021
2021 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the 2021 National Trade Estimate Report
Published annually since 1985, the NTE Report is a comprehensive review of significant foreign trade barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and services. The 570-page report examines 65 trading partners and country groups, including the U.S.’ largest trading partners, all 20 U.S. FTA partners, and other economies and country groupings of interest such as the Arab League, the United Kingdom (included as a separate entity for the first time in this report), and the European Union. Together, these economies account for 99 percent of U.S. goods trade and 87 percent of U.S. services trade.
The NTE Report covers significant trade barriers in 11 areas, including (1) import policies such as tariffs, import licensing and customs barriers; (2) technical barriers to trade; (3) sanitary and phytosanitary measures; (4) subsidies; (5) government procurement; (6) intellectual property protection; (7) services barriers; (8) barriers to digital trade and electronic commerce; (9) investment barriers; (10) competition; and (11) other barriers.
Taken as a whole, the NTE Report highlights significant barriers that present major policy challenges with implications for future U.S. growth opportunities, and the fairness of the global economy.
This report discusses the largest export markets for the United States, covering 61 countries, the European Union, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Arab League. The discussion of Chinese trade barriers is structured and focused to align more closely with other Congressional reports prepared by USTR on U.S.-China trade issues. The China section includes cross-references to other USTR reports where appropriate. As always, omission of particular countries and barriers does not imply that they are not of concern to the United States.
OTEXA’s Export Promotion Services Help U.S. Companies Succeed
See how the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel helped CTF Enterprises increase sales across several international markets.
CTF Enterprises is a small business in Portland, Oregon that has a vision: to revolutionize the way the world repairs zippers. FixnZip, its unique patented product, is a universal zipper slider that can repair zippers anywhere without tools or sewing.
In 2015, CTF Enterprises reached out to OTEXA to help market their product and to grow internationally. That year, the company participated for the first time in OTEXA’s Sample Booth at the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London, UK. Since then, CTF Enterprises has participated in nearly a dozen events with OTEXA.
The company’s sales have increased exponentially since it first launched in 2015. CTF Enterprises now has more than a dozen international distributors worldwide and sells in 16 countries. With international distribution systems and partners in place, the company continues to experience strong international sales growth and brand recognition.
In spite of major challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CTF Enterprises reported historic sales for 2019 and 2020. The company's success can be attributed to its ability to sell in multiple markets and not being reliant on a single domestic .email@example.com.
Contact OTEXA at firstname.lastname@example.org.