Friday, May 28, 2021

CBP will detain imports of seafood from Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. due to forced labor indications

On May 28, 2021, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order against Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in the entity’s fishing operations.

To read more CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Denial of Democracy in Hong Kong

Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, has released this statement:

"The Chinese government continues to undermine the democratic institutions of Hong Kong, denying Hong Kong residents the rights that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) itself has guaranteed. The Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) passage on May 27 of new measures that alter the composition of the LegCo and Election Commission severely constrains people in Hong Kong from meaningfully participating in their own governance and having their voices heard.

"Decreasing Hong Kong residents’ electoral representation will not foster long-term political and social stability for Hong Kong.  This legislation defies the Basic Law’s clear acknowledgment that the ultimate objective is the election of all members of the LegCo by universal suffrage.  We once again call on the PRC and the Hong Kong authorities to allow the voices of all Hong Kongers to be heard.  We also call on these authorities to release and drop charges against all individuals charged under the National Security Law and other laws merely for standing for election or for expressing dissenting views.  The United States stands united with our allies and partners in speaking out for the human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed to the people in Hong Kong by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law."

CBP and US Chamber of Commerce partner to combat counterfeit goods

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have announced a joint initiative today to prevent the importation of counterfeit and pirated goods.

To read more CLICK HERE.

G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Belarus

The text of the following statement was released by the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union.

We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented action by the Belarusian authorities in arresting independent journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion, Sofia Sopega, after forcing flight FR4978 on which they were travelling to land in Minsk on 23 May.

This action jeopardised the safety of the passengers and crew of the flight. It was also a serious attack on the rules governing civil aviation. All our countries, and our citizens, depend on every state acting responsibly in fulfilling their duties under the Chicago Convention so that civil aircraft can operate safely and securely. We call on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to urgently address this challenge to its rules and standards.

This action also represents a serious attack on media freedom. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Raman Pratasevich, as well as all other journalists and political prisoners held in Belarus.

We will enhance our efforts, including through further sanctions as appropriate, to promote accountability for the actions of the Belarusian authorities.

JCPenney Recalls Girls Puffer Jackets Due to Entanglement Hazard

Description: This recall involves Arizona Jean Co. “Lilac Smoke” girls midweight puffer jackets sold in sizes 4-16 (XXS-XL). Item sub/lot number 302-0223, date code 08/20, RN #93677 and “Arizona Jean Co.” are printed on the care label inside of the puffer jacket.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled jacket away from children, cut and remove the drawstring to eliminate the hazard, or contact JCPenney for instructions on how to return the jacket and obtain a full refund of the original purchase price, shipping included.

Incidents/Injuries: No incidents or injuries have been reported.

Sold At: JCPenney stores nationwide and online at from November 2020 through April 2021 for about $94.

Importer(s): J.C. Penney Purchasing Corporation Inc., of Lewisville, Texas

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 21-140

FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Gennex Media LLC and Owner to Pay Monetary Judgment and Stop Making Deceptive Made in USA Claims

Gennex Media LLC, which sells customizable promotional products such as wristbands, lanyards, temporary tattoos, and buttons, and its owner, Akil Kurji, will settle FTC charges that they made false, misleading, or unsupported advertising claims that their “Brandnex” products were all or virtually all made in the United States. The complaint alleges that, since at least 2012, Gennex and Kurji have violated the FTC Act by claiming on their Brandnex website that the products they sell are made in the United States, when in fact in numerous instances the products are wholly imported from China. Under the proposed settlement, Gennex and Kurji are prohibited from making the deceptive claims alleged in the complaint and are required to pay a monetary judgement of $146,249.24. On April 14, 2021, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.

For more information CLICK HERE.

Complying with the FTC rules can be complex and some manufacturers run afoul of the rules through ignorance, not the intent to deceive. I am pleased to announce that my business, Agathon Associates, offers a "Made in U.S.A. Certification" service. Manufacturers desiring to make a Made in U.S.A. claim can have me evaluate their manufacturing process and certify that under the FTC rules they can honestly say "Proudly Made in the U.S.A."

Recent Customs Guidance Raises Questions about Section 301 Tariff Mitigation

A legal way to avoid China 301 tariff is to source one essential component of an article from someplace other than China. We have assisted clients, with concurrence from Customs, to implement this mitigation strategy. It is a strategy many importers have employed.

For example, Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, imports motorized bicycles assembled in China from the components made in China, Japan, and Taiwan. The frame is from Taiwan, which makes the entire bike, assembled in the China with significant Chinese components, a product of Taiwan.[1]

This mitigation strategy works due to two CBP practices regarding country of origin determination.

1.         Simple assembly does not confer origin. "Simple assembly means the fitting together of five or fewer parts all of which are foreign (excluding fasteners such as screws, bolts, etc.) by bolting, gluing, soldering, sewing or by other means without more than minor processing."[2]

2.         Substantial transformation confers origin." The substantial transformation criterion is based on a change in name/character/use method (i.e., an article that consists in whole or in part of materials from more than one country is a product of the last country in which it has been substantially transformed into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, and use distinct from that of the article or articles from which was so transformed)."[3] The test for determining whether a substantial transformation will occur is whether an article emerges from a process with a new name, character or use, different from that possessed by the article prior to processing.

When determining country of origin of an article that underwent a simple assembly operation in the last countries of processing before importation, Customs looks to the country of origin of the components of the articles. Where the components were made determines the country of origin of the article. When the components come from multiple countries, Customs will try to determine what component imparts the "essential character" of the article. In the case of the bikes assembled in China (simple assembly) of components from China, Japan, and Taiwan, Customs ruled that when steel was substantially transformed into a bike frame in Taiwan, that frame took on the character of a bike. In general, Customs is able to determine the single component that confers origin. Many importers of articles assembled in China have relied on that practice to avoid China 301 tariffs by identifying the single component that determines what the article is and relocating the sourcing of that component out of China.

Recent (May 18, 2021) Customs guidance regarding imported golf clubs[4] raises questions.

Complete golf clubs are made of prefabricated components consisting of a head, shaft, and grip. These components may be manufactured in multiple countries and are subject to Section 301 duties if the country of origin is China.

While the entire golf club has one tariff classification, the country of origin of the components of the golf club may need to be indicated.[5]

Here's where it gets interesting. If either the head or the shaft is of the same origin as the country where the assembly of the golf club occurs, the country of origin of the entire club is the country of its assembly.

But, where the origin of both the head and the shaft is different from the country of assembly of the golf club, the golf club will have multiple countries of origin, including the countries of origin of the head and the shaft.

Where a golf club has multiple countries of origin, importers must report the applicable trade remedies on each golf club component This will allow reporting of the correct country or countries of origin, value and any applicable Section 301 duties. Customs gives the example of a golf club assembled in Mexico of head from Taiwan, shaft from China, and grip from Mexico. The value of the Chinese-origin shaft is subject to 301 tariff.

The lessons?

Legal avoidance of China 301 tariffs may be possible, but Customs is actively seeking ways to maximize tariff revenues under the 301 action. 

Before you assume you can locate that one essential character you need to research whether Customs might determine that there is more than one essential component and potentially more than one country of origin. In the case of golf clubs with components from multiple counties, Customs reached back to old rulings from 1996 through 2005 that addressed the issue. In those rulings, the question was country of origin marking. Multiple countries had to be indicated. It had no effect on the tariff because it was the same for each country. Now that China has a higher tariff, Customs has become very interested in an old question of country of origin. This raises questions about other articles with multiple essential components. Customs has found a way to take some old ruling relating to marking and turn them in tariff revenue. Will they be coming for your imports next?

Customs regulations are complex, and ever changing. Failure to comply, even if not intentional, may result in unexpected tariff charges and potential penalties. Don't try to go it alone, seek professional assistance before you try to reduce or eliminate 301 tariffs

An initial analysis of your businesses' import patterns is offered free of charge.  This preliminary assessment will allow us to determine the best strategy to mitigate 301 tariffs or other import costs. Contact Glenn at or David or by calling David at 617-285-6004 or Glenn at 603-957-8247.

[1] CBP Binding Ruling Letter HQ H312767 of September 24, 2020.

[2] See 19 CFR § 102.1(o)

[3] See Informed Compliance Publication What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: U.S. Rules of Origin Preferential and Non-Preferential Rules of Origin --

[4] See CSMS #47830638 - Guidance: Proper Entry/Entry Summary Reporting for Complete Golf Clubs with Components from Multiple Countries of Origin

[5] See HQ H313495, dated December 2, 2020; and HQ H313537, dated October 16, 2020

Army and Air Force Apparel Contract Awarded

Puerto Rico Apparel Manufacturing Corp., Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $11,347,104 modification (P00023) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1151) with four one-year option periods for various types of coats and trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a May 29, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S.A.

Monday, May 31, 2021, is Memorial Day, a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the last Monday of May. Federal, State, and local government offices will be closed, as will nearly all non-retail businesses. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

In other years in much of the United States, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The "three day weekend" created by the Monday holiday is enjoyed with cookouts, trips to the beach and other leisure activities as will as parades and public ceremonies honoring those who died in service of the nation. This year the nature of public observance will vary from State to State.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

—John McCrae (1872-1918)

Each year I see fewer and fewer men on the street wearing remembrance poppies on Memorial Day, since 1971 celebrated on the last Monday in May. One year I couldn't even find anyone selling "Buddy Poppies," the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans.

For more than 90 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well being of their dependents. In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy.

When you buy your Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day you will be giving material aid to a disabled veteran. And when you wear your Buddy Poppy you will remind everyone who sees you of the meaning of Memorial Day.

The American Legion also sells crepe paper poppies for Memorial Day. That is another fine organization worthy of your support.

Although the United States Department of Veterans Affairs states "The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day" many of us do join our friends from the British Commonwealth nations in wearing the red poppy of remembrance on November 11th as well.

This Memorial Day remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion to cause of liberty.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The American Sheep Industry Association worked with Colorado State University the past two years to develop the voluntary program and standards that will allow manufacturers to purchase American wool with confidence that the animals producing that wool have been raised with a high level of care.

On May 21, 2021, The American Wool Assurance website launched, allowing American sheep producers to take a crucial step in certifying their wool through this voluntary, Amkerican industry-driven certification process.

The Association worked with Colorado State University the past two years to develop the voluntary program and standards that will allow manufacturers to purchase American wool with confidence that the animals producing that wool have been raised with a high level of care. Industry input from producers, shearers, buyers, extension, animal welfare experts and processors was critical in development of program standards.

“This is something that consumers and brands are asking for increasingly, and so it has become important to retailers, processors and wool buyers in recent years,” said ASI Deputy Director Rita Samuelson, who oversees wool marketing for the association. “We announced the standards for the voluntary American Wool Assurance program earlier this year and we know that many in the textile trade are anxious to buy wools with the assurance of best animal care practices. Launching the website and the accompanying education courses are important steps in the process. Most importantly, this process allows American wool producers to share their stories of using premium animal welfare practices, as well as their rich wool heritage.”

Sheep producers interested in earning certification should go to and sign up as soon as possible. After filling out the initial sign-up form – which is for those involved in wool production only – users are then able to access the educational courses that are required to complete Level I (Educated) of the voluntary program. Producers must also complete ASI’s Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance course to complete the first level. Those who have previously completed the SSQA course will not have to complete it again.

The SSQA course – which is in the process of being updated – provides a foundation for care and handling of sheep. The AWA course narrows the focus to sheep handling, shearing and production. It will guide producers through three learning courses: an overview of AWA, year-round standards and shearing standards. The courses are user-friendly and can be accessed on any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. The AWA course should take about an hour for most producers to complete.

Following Level I accreditation, growers can become certified in Level II (Process Verified), which involves an evaluation by a second party such as a veterinarian or extension agent. Level III (Certified) requires an independent audit. To prepare for these next levels, growers are encouraged to develop an operating plan and hold records relating to each of the AWA standards.

Following accreditation, growers can share their unique code with wool buyers, enabling buyers to verify the status of their certification. Additionally, as traceability becomes increasingly important, wool growers can choose if they would simply like to share the status of their certification, or if they would like to share more information, such as ranch name and general location.

“Accreditation in AWA certifies what growers are already doing in prioritizing the proper care of their sheep and provides another marketing tool for them,” Samuelson said. “ASI suggests consulting with your wool warehouse or buyer for more information before making production and marketing decisions, as prices for certified wool will vary based on a number of factors. However, the feedback from wool buyers and processors is that international wools in an assurance program sell with a premium.”

Friday, May 21, 2021

Wyden Announces Legislation to Extend Trade Preferences and Tariff Relief

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced legislation to update and reauthorize three expired trade programs: the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA). 

The Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2021 will extend duty-free access to the U.S. market for certain developing countries under GSP until 2027, with important updates to eligibility rules that ensure trade policy rewards advances in human rights, women’s economic empowerment, labor, environment, rule of law and digital trade, among others. 

The bill would also reauthorize the MTB to provide limited duty relief on certain manufacturing inputs and other imports that do not have significant domestic production and that were recommended for tariff reductions by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). Finally, the bill would reauthorize the AMCA, which gives the USITC authority to conduct the MTB petition and recommendation process, for two more cycles. 

“This legislation is an economic win-win,” Wyden said. “It boosts developing countries that meet human rights, labor and environmental standards, and it’s a major benefit for American manufacturers, including hundreds in Oregon. In particular, I want to thank Senator Carper for his work to include environmental criteria, Senator Cardin for his work to include criteria on human rights and the rule of law, and Senators Casey and Cortez Masto for their work on women’s economic empowerment and labor. These updated criteria will help export American values to the developing world.”

Key elements of the Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act include:

  • Renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
    • Extends the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which eliminates tariffs on certain goods from qualifying beneficiary developing countries, from December 31, 2020 until January 1, 2027.
    • Adds new mandatory eligibility criteria, which countries must meet to be eligible for GSP, on human rights and the environment.
    • Adds new discretionary criteria, which the President takes into account when designating a country as a GSP beneficiary, on the environment, women’s economic empowerment, rule of law, and digital trade.
    • Updates the definition of “internationally recognized worker rights” to include the elimination of discrimination in occupation and employment, which aligns that definition with USMCA and other trade agreements.
    • Provides a new requirement for regular country reviews and includes additional transparency requirements for administrative decisions made under the program.
    • Provides new reporting requirements on how GSP promotes worker rights and women’s economic empowerment.
    • Requires the USITC to study GSP utilization rates, rules of origin, and article eligibility rules.
  • Authorizes the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill
    • The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) reduces or eliminates duties on certain imports (listed in the bill text) that were included at the recommendation of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).
    • Pursuant to the 2016 American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, the USITC considers petitions for tariff reductions on the basis of administrability, whether the revenue loss will be greater than $500,000 per year, and whether there is domestic production of the product. 
    • Tariff relief will run through December 31, 2023 and be retroactive for four months.
  • Reauthorization of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act
    • Reauthorizes the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA), which was first passed in 2016 and gives the USITC authority to conduct the MTB petition, review, and recommendation process.
    • Under this section, the AMCA would be reauthorized for two more MTB cycles, the first beginning in 2022 and the second beginning in 2025.

The full text of the legislation is available here.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Joint United States-European Union Statement on Addressing Global Steel and Aluminum Excess Capacity

On May 17, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, and European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis announced the start of discussions to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity. During a virtual meeting last week, the leaders acknowledged the need for effective solutions that preserve our critical industries, and agreed to chart a path that ends the WTO disputes following the U.S. application of tariffs on imports from the EU under section 232.

Read more HERE.

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Contract for Physical Fitness Uniform Trunks

Federal Prison Industries, doing business as UNICOR, Washington, D.C., has been awarded a maximum $9,723,120 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for physical fitness uniform trunks. This was a competitive procurement with seven responses received. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Locations of performance are New Jersey, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado and Washington, D.C., with a May 18, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-21-D-1472).

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Jacqueline Campbell and Other CPSC Staff Participating in ASTM D13 Virtual Subcommittee Meetings Regarding Updates on Textile Standards Activities

Jacqueline Campbell, Consumer Product Safety Directorate for Engineering Sciences, and other CPSC staff will participate in the ASTM D13 subcommittee meetings via teleconference. The meetings are being held on June 6-10, 2021, from 8:00am - 4:00pm EST. These meetings will provide updates on textile-related standards activities. For additional information, including call-in information, contact Jacqueline Campbell at:, (301) 987-2024.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

AAFA Publishes 22nd Edition of the Industry’s Restricted Substance List

On May 17, 2021, the American Apparel & Footwear Association published the 22nd edition of the Restricted Substance List (RSL). As an open-industry resource available to both AAFA members and the broader community, the RSL supports the industry by providing a reference of all banned and restricted chemicals and substances for finished apparel, footwear, accessories, and home textile products, identifying the most restrictive regulations worldwide. The report also offers an Appendix on Reporting that covers the U.S. states whose laws require reporting of chemicals in children’s products as well as European reporting rules.

Read more or access the list HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2021

First Meeting of Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Free Trade Commission

On May 17 and 18, 2021, Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, will participate in the inaugural meeting of the USMCA Free Trade Commission (FTC), hosted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

USMCA entered into force on July 1, 2020; it supports economic growth, prosperity, and good jobs in all 3 countries. The FTC meeting presents an opportunity to discuss the progress in the implementation of the new trilateral trade agreement and to engage with the United States and Mexico on ways to strengthen the North American trade partnership.

Minister Ng, Ambassador Tai, and Secretary Clouthier will address important trilateral trade issues, including ensuring the resilience of integrated supply chains, emphasizing the importance of strong labour and environmental protections, and mitigating the economic effects of climate change to ensure that North America emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, through an inclusive, sustainable recovery that works for everyone.

U.S. Seeks Cooperation with EU in Addressing China Challenge

On May 14, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai met virtually with European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis to discuss opportunities to strengthen economic ties between the United States and the European Union and resolve the long-running dispute over large civil aircraft subsidies. Ambassador Tai expressed her commitment to finding a permanent solution, before the tariff suspension expires in July, that that levels the playing field and creates a platform for future cooperation to address the shared challenges from non-market economies, such as China.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has recommended that the President make certain modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has recommended that the President make certain modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) to conform it with World Customs Organization (WCO) amendments to the global Harmonized System.

The recommended modifications would modify the U.S. tariff schedule to conform with amendments made to the Harmonized System nomenclature by the World Customs Organization on June 28, 2019, with expected implementation date of January 1, 2022. The WCO Recommendation contains about 350 amendments to the Harmonized System nomenclature relating to a wide range of products and product groups, including, for example:

  • flat panel display modules;
  • 3D printers;
  • electronic textiles;
  • unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones);
  • smartphones;
  • electric vehicles;
  • novel tobacco products intended for inhalation without combustion;
  • edible insect products;
  • edible microbial fats and oils;
  • virgin and extra virgin olive oil;
  • cell therapy products;
  • rapid diagnostic test kits for detecting the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases;
  • placebos and double-blinded clinical trial kits;
  • parts for improvised explosive devices;
  • electronic waste (e-waste) and other hazardous waste;
  • amusement park equipment;
  • cultural articles (i.e., antiquities);
  • hazardous chemicals controlled by the Rotterdam Convention;
  • ozone-depleting substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol;
  • products controlled by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; and
  • fentanyl-opioid substances and derivatives controlled by the International Narcotics Control Board.

Of interest to followers of Agathon Associates --

  • 5501.10, Synthetic filament two of nylon or other polyamides, is being broken out as
    • 5501.11, Synthetic filament two of nylon or other polyamides: of aramids and
    • 5501.19, Synthetic filament two of nylon or other polyamides: other
  • Changes to floor coverings classified in Chapter 57
  • Changes to terry towel fabric classified in Chapter 58
  • Certain textile products and articles, for technical uses classified in Chapter 59
  • Knit apparel of Chapter 61
  • Non-knit apparel of Chapter 62

The changes appear not to affect tariff rates or country of origin determinations. However, imports will need to take care when the changes take effect to use the new classifications. Changed classifications will, also, make it more difficult to track import data over time.

The Commission’s report, Recommended Modifications in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, 2021, Inv. No. 1205-13, USITC Publication 5171, March 2021, is available on the USITC web site at:

USTR States Biden Administration Commitment to "Strong, Strategic, Bold, and Creative" Response to China's Unfair Trade Practices

In testimony at hearings on the President's Trade Agenda May 12, 2021, at the Senate Finance Committee and May 13 at the House Ways and Means Committee, Ambassador Katherine Tai,

We will not hesitate to call out China’s coercive and unfair trade practices that harm American workers, undermine the multilateral system, or violate basic human rights. We are working towards a strong, strategic approach to our trade and economic relationship with China.

We welcome the competition. But the competition must be fair, and if China cannot or will not adapt to international rules we must be bold and creative in taking steps to level the playing field and enhance our own capabilities and partnerships. I’ve been encouraged that our trading partners also recognize this challenge and they are willing to find a common approach to our shared concerns. Our security will depend on diversifying and securing the supply lines for the products. Improving our trade relations with trusted Allies and partners will not only improve our prosperity but our national security.

The full text of her remarks are available HERE.

Army and Air Force Coveralls Contract Awarded

Bluewater Defense Inc., Corozol, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $8,493,840 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for mechanics operational print coveralls. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a May 19, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-21-D-1474).

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

On May 13, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 26248) Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Saturday is Straw Hat Day

May 15th is Straw Hat Day the beginning of the season when men may wear their straw boaters and Panamas rather than the fur felt fedoras, porkpies, homburgs, and bowlers that we wear (You do wear a hat, don't you?) the rest of the year.

For more information, or to buy quality hats, including hats made in the U.S.A., visit these fine vendors:

Just don't wear your straw hat after September 15th, or you may start a riot.

Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Passes Portman, Peters Bipartisan Make PPE in America Act

On May 12, 2021, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, applauded the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for passing their bipartisan legislation that will strengthen efforts to onshore production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States by requiring federal agencies to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE. Reshoring production will ensure American workers, health care professionals, and more have the PPE they need as the economy continues to reopen. Domestic production of PPE supplies also will create American manufacturing jobs and ensure that America is better prepared for the next pandemic. 

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that the American people should not have to rely so heavily on foreign countries for personal protective equipment, and that’s why we must bring PPE production back to our shores. I’m pleased that the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee has passed the Make PPE In America Act this morning,” said Senator Portman, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “When I talk to PPE manufacturers about re-shoring this production to America, the number one thing I hear about is the need for long-term contracts. Multi-year contracts give producers the certainty to know that their investment in the United States will be worth it, because the government will be there to buy the PPE they produce. By re-shoring production of PPE, we can continue to support a safe and effective reopening of our schools, workplaces, and the economy.” 

“I have long raised the alarm that our overreliance on foreign manufacturers for masks, gloves and medical devices is a serious national security concern. Due to ongoing efforts by the Biden Administration to boost PPE production, we are making progress, but there is more work to do,” said Senator Peters, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “I am pleased this commonsense legislation, which will create jobs and improve our response to the ongoing and future pandemics, has advanced in the Senate and I will continue fighting for its passage into law.” 

“We want to thank the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for adopting the Make PPE in America Act, today to help guarantee long-term contracts for American companies to onshore critical PPE production,” said Kim Glas, President and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). “This legislation will incentivize investment in and the viability of domestic PPE manufacturing, ensuring our nation remains prepared for future crises. We also want to thank Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) for introducing this important legislation, which will ensure several critical departments like Homeland Security and Health and Human Services will spend taxpayer dollars here at home on American-made PPE, and boost U.S. manufacturing capacity.”  

Winners Announcement: 2021 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Design Competition

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, USA, May 7, 2021— AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2021 AATCC Concept 2 Consumers® Student Design Competition!


AATCC received 41 entries, with 57 students participating from 20 colleges and universities.

This year’s theme, Fashion Evolution, showcased AATCC’s Centennial—the Association’s 100th Birthday! The theme for AATCC’s Centennial celebrations is “Celebrating a Century—Focused on the Future!”


Fashion Evolution mirrored that theme. From the 1920s, when AATCC was founded, to the present day, students were asked to choose a decade from the last 100 years and reinvent the fashions for the 2020 decade, focusing on one or more of the following:


  • fit/sizing for various body types
  • sustainable fashion
  • personal protection
  • new textile materials/technology


First Place

Movement by Doran Kim, University of Texas, Austin

This student was awarded:


  • US$1,000 from AATCC
  • PantoneCotton Passport and COY mug
  • US$300 SpoonflowerGift Certificate and Spoonflower DIY Book Bundle
  • US$200 Jacquard Inkjet FabricSystems gift certificate to obtain prepared for dyeing (PFD) fabric
  • DatacolorColorReaderPRO
  • One-year free AATCC Student Membership


Kim is a Textiles and Apparel Major & Entrepreneurship Minor at the University of Texas, Austin.


She says, “From this competition, I learned how fashion trends evolve and return to popularity. It was an educational moment for me as a designer to create a collection that brings nostalgia from past fashion trends in a way that the current market desires.


I have seen many fashion brands that only focus on one part of the sustainable production process. In the future, I want to create clothing that is truly sustainable in every step from sourcing to the after-use stage. I want to prove with my designs that we do not have to exploit natural resources, abuse animals, or neglect human rights just to look good. Contributing to better fashion practice is the future I dream.”


Second Place

Caminates by Carla Pierini, Drexel University

This student was awarded:


  • US$750 from AATCC
  • Pantone Cotton Passport and COY mug
  • US$150 Spoonflower Gift Certificate and Spoonflower DIY Book Bundle
  • US$100 Jacquard InkjetFabric Systems gift certificate to obtain prepared for dyeing (PFD) fabric
  • DatacolorColorReaderPRO
  • One-year free AATCC Student Membership


Pierini is a sophomore majoring in Fashion Design at Drexel University.


She says, “From this competition I learned that no matter how abstract ideas can look, you can achieve the unimaginable with dedication, passion, and people that support and believe in your potential. For my future, I want to focus on finding the perfect balance in my career, working on sustainable, innovative, and impactful projects that will bring a positive change in the fashion industry and society.”


Third Place


Moonchild by Ingrid Yeung, University of California, Davis

This student was awarded:


  • US$200 from AATCC
  • US$75 SpoonflowerGift Certificate and Spoonflower DIY Book Bundle
  • US$50 JacquardInkjet Fabric Systems gift certificate to obtain prepared for dyeing (PFD) fabric
  • Datacolor
  • One-year free AATCC Student Membership


Yeung is a Junior pursuing a BA in Design and BS in Managerial Economics.


She says, “Throughout this process, I learned the complexities of functional apparel design, and I was able to challenge myself to discover new forms of innovation and creativity within fashion. In the future, I aim to design within a space that merges functionality and aesthetic/beauty while also producing work with impact that can outlast the prevailing life cycle of rapid consumption.”


Developers, Judges, and Sponsors

AATCC would like to extend appreciation to the following developers, judges, and sponsors. Without their expertise and assistance, the competition would not have been possible.



  • Sandra Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International
  • Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone
  • Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc.
  • Muditha Senanayake, Professor at Cal Poly Pomona
  • Alyssa McNamara, Project Manager at Spoonflower Inc.



  • Lisa Beck, Product Manager at Datacolor
  • Emily Coleman, Designer and Merchandise Manager at Jefferies Socks
  • Hunter Ellis, President at Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Systems
  • Yvonne Johnson, Senior Director: Product Development at Cotton Incorporated
  • Lauren Koury, E-commerce Specialist at Carolina Hosiery Mills
  • Alyssa McNamara, Project Manager at Spoonflower Inc.
  • Kristie Rhodes, Manager, Product Development at Cotton Incorporated
  • Carrie Yates, Associate Director, Knit Product Development at Cotton Incorporated





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

Monday, May 10, 2021

CBP Seizes Designer Masks, Bucket Hats Worth Nearly $800K

In March, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers examining arriving shipments at an express consignment location in Austin, Texas, intercepted over 5,000 counterfeit designer face masks, hats and headbands valued at nearly $800,000.

Read more HERE.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Army Dress Coat Contract Awarded

Gil Sewing Corp., Chicago, Illinois, has been awarded a maximum $14,863,500 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for men’s uniform dress coats. This was a competitive acquisition with four responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Illinois, with a May 6, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-21-D-1467).

Thursday, May 6, 2021

TJX Recalls Infant Sleep Bags Due to Suffocation Risk; Sold at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Sierra


This recall involves infant sleep bags, in size 0-6 months, that were sold under the brand names Dylan & Abby, First Wish, First Wish Organic, Harry & Me, Little Red Caboose, Piper & Posie, Sam & Jo, Sam & Jo Organic, Shabby Chic and Willow Blossom.  The brand name and size are printed on two separate labels at the back of the neck.  The style number is printed on a separate label located on the inside side seam behind the care label.  The sleep bags zip up the middle or to the side of the front, and were sold in a variety of colors and designs, including animals, dinosaur bones, splatter paint, circus designs, construction, cars, florals, clouds, robots, stars, dino dudes, monsters and firetrucks.  The following style numbers are included in the recall: 

Brand Name

Style Number

Dylan & Abby


First Wish




First Wish Organic




Harry & Me


Little Red Caboose










Piper & Posie







Sam & Jo







Sam & Jo Organic


Shabby Chic


Willow Blossom




Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled infant sleep bags and contact TJX for instructions on how to participate in the recall and receive their choice of either a full refund or a store gift card. 


No incidents or injuries have been reported.

Sold At:

T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores nationwide and online at, and between April 2018 and February 2021 for about $20.


The TJX Companies Inc., of Framingham, Mass.

Manufactured In:
China and India
Recall number:

More information and photos HERE.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Foreign Military Sales Contracts Awarded

Atlantic Diving Supply Inc., doing business as ADS, Virginia Beach, Virginia (SPE2DS-21-D-0004); W.S. Darley & Co., Itasca, Illinois (SPE2DS-21-D-0006); Owens and Minor Distribution Inc., Mechanicsville, Virginia (SPE2DS-21-D-0003); Regulus Global LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia (SPE2DS-21-D-0002); and TQM LLC, doing business as Two Rivers Medical, Greer, South Carolina (SPE2DS-21-D-0005), are sharing a maximum $516,953,713 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPE2DS-17-R-0002 for the Foreign Military Sales Medical and Surgical Tailored Logistics Support program. These were competitive acquisitions with eight responses received. These are one-year base contracts with four one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Virginia, Illinois and South Carolina, with a May 3, 2022, ordering period end date. Using customers are foreign military services worldwide. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds and Foreign Military Sales funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Within the U.S. industry it is widely understood that Department of Defense acquisitions of textiles and clothing are government by the Berry Amendment which requires domestic U.S. sourcing. Less well known is that the Berry Amendment applies to all funds "made available" to the Defense Department. That includes Department of Defense procurement for Foreign Military Sales.

Carbon Fiber FTZ Applicant Gives up Fight over PAN

As Agathon Associates REPORTED on February 2, 2021, Teijin Fibers and Hexcel Corp have been battling over FTZ since 2019.

On May 4, 2021, the Foreign-Trade Zone Board published in the Federal Register (86 FR 23672) Foreign-Trade Zone 38--Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Application for Production Authority, Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc., Amendment of Application.

The amendment removes 12,000 tow polyacrylonitrile fiber (precursor) from the foreign-status materials/components that TCF could use under the requested FTZ authority.

CBP Cleveland Seizes Top Glove Products Under Forced Labor Finding

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel in Cleveland seized a shipment of 3.97 million nitrile disposable gloves due to information indicating they were made by forced labor, a form of modern slavery.

Read more HERE.

Monday, May 3, 2021

China's Implementation Steps of Phase One Agreement "Fall Short," Says USTR

On April 30, 2021, The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners' protection of intellectual property rights and the findings of its Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Review), which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

The Special 301 Report (Report) is the result of an annual review of the state of intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement in U.S. trading partners around the world, which the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) conducts pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the Trade Act, 19 U.S.C. § 2242). Congress amended the Trade Act in 1988 specifically “to provide for the development of an overall strategy to ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights and fair and equitable market access for United States persons that rely on protection of intellectual property rights.” In particular, Congress expressed its concern that “the absence of adequate and effective protection of United States intellectual property rights, and the denial of equitable market access, seriously impede the ability of the United States persons that rely on protection of intellectual property rights to export and operate overseas, thereby harming the economic interests of the United States.”

This Report provides an opportunity to put a spotlight on foreign countries and the laws, policies, and practices that fail to provide adequate and effective IP protection and enforcement for U.S. inventors, creators, brands, manufacturers, and service providers, which, in turn, harm American workers whose livelihoods are tied to America’s innovation-driven sectors. The Report identifies a wide range of concerns, including: (a) challenges with border and criminal enforcement against counterfeits, including in the online environment; (b) high levels of online and broadcast piracy, including through illicit streaming devices; (c) inadequacies in trade secret protection and enforcement in China, Russia, and elsewhere; (d) troubling “indigenous innovation” and forced technology transfer policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. right holders in markets abroad; and (e) other ongoing, systemic issues regarding IP protection and enforcement, as well as market access, in many trading partners around the world. Combatting such unfair trade policies will encourage domestic investment inthe United States, foster American innovation and creativity, and increase economic security for American workers and families.

The Special 301 Subcommittee received stakeholder input on more than 100 trading partners, but focused its review on those submissions that responded to the request set forth in the notice published in the Federal Register to identify whether a particular trading partner should be named as a Priority Foreign Country, placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List, or not listed in the Report. Following extensive research and analysis, USTR has identified 32 trading partners as follows:

Priority Watch List

  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela

Watch List

  • Algeria
  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Guatemala
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Romania
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

With regard to China, tThe United States has been closely monitoring China’s progress in implementing its commitments under the United States-China Economic and Trade Agreement (Phase One Agreement). In 2020, China published several draft IP-related legal and regulatory measures and finalized over a dozen measures. Notably, China amended the Patent Law, Copyright Law, and Criminal Law in the past year. However, these steps toward reform require effective implementation and fall short of the full range of fundamental changes needed to improve the IP landscape in China.

DLA Clothing and Textiles works overtime to support White House masks mission

To provide more than 25 million cloth face masks to communities hard-hit by the pandemic, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Clothing and Textiles team members expedited contracting processes and worked hundreds of overtime hours.

In late February, the Department of Health and Human Services requested DLA’s help providing the masks to community centers across the country to support President Joe Biden’s National Strategy to defeat COVID-19. Locations include more than 1,400 federally qualified health centers, about 125 tribal organizations and 200 foodbanks for distribution to surrounding communities.

A pre-award contracting team headed by Clothing and Textiles Supplier Operations Director Steven Merch conducted market research and create a solicitation for American-made mask production within 10 days of the request.

Overall, the team compressed a typically six-month contract award process into six weeks, he said. The competitive acquisition resulted in numerous proposals and evaluations to determine whether solicitors could supply 100% Berry Compliant, or American-made, masks.

Read more HERE.