Sawasawa LLC, Los Angeles, California, has been awarded a maximum $8,290,838 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for moisture wicking t-shirts. This was a competitive acquisition with 11 responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is California, with a Nov. 29, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-22-D-1515).
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
The Federal Trade Commission is ordering nine large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers to provide detailed information that will help the FTC shed light on the causes behind ongoing supply chain disruptions and how these disruptions are causing serious and ongoing hardships for consumers and harming competition in the U.S. economy.
The FTC is issuing the orders under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the Commission to conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose. The orders are being sent to Walmart Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Kroger Co., C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., McLane Co, Inc. Procter & Gamble Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., and Kraft Heinz Co. The companies will have 45 days from the date they received the order to respond.
Read more HERE.
U.S., EU, and Japan Renew Trilateral Partnership to Address the Global Challenges Posed by Non-market Policies and Practices
Certain Superabsorbent Polymers From the Republic of Korea: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
On November 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce published in the Federal Register (86 FR 67915) Certain Superabsorbent Polymers From the Republic of Korea: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation.
On November 2, 2021, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of certain superabsorbent polymers (SAP) from the Republic of Korea (Korea), filed in proper form on behalf of the Ad Hoc Coalition of American SAP Producers (the petitioner), whose members are BASF Corporation, Evonik Superabsorber LLC, and Nippon Shokubai America Industries, Inc., domestic producers of SAP.
On behalf of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, and the U.S. manufacturers who constitute the AAFA Government Contracts Committee (GCC), I am pleased to submit these comments in response to the September 29, 2021, Federal Register Notice of Proposed Rule (86 FR 53931) Modification of Small Purchase Threshold Exceptions (DFARS Case 2021–D010).
AAFA is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear, travel goods, and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the U.S. and global markets. We represent approximately 300 companies, including many who proudly make uniforms – clothes and shoes – for the U.S. military. They do so under the auspices of the Berry Amendment, which requires the U.S. armed forced to purchase domestically made textiles, apparel, footwear, and related gear.
Having worked closely with Congress to advocate for and secure the legislative change (Section 817 of the National Defense Authorization Act) for Fiscal Year (FY 2021) (Pub. L. 116-283) under which this rule is based, we support the Proposed Rule.
The legislation accomplished 4 things:
A. Delink the Berry Small Purchase Threshold from the Simplified Acquisition Threshold
B. Lower the Berry Small Purchase Threshold from $250,000 to $150,000.
C. Subject the Berry Small Purchase Threshold to a quinquennial review for inflation.
D. Clarify that contracts cannot be broken up so that they can be tendered under the Small Purchase Threshold and thereby avoid domestic sourcing and manufacturing opportunities.
We offer four comments below, which we believe will clarify and improve its operation and more closely align it with Congressional intent on the above 4 items. We’ve also included a letter that we led last year, and which was signed by 15 associations and unions, to show the breath of support for this change (which was then known as Section 814 of the House version of the NDAA).
First, the Proposed Rule is necessary to align DFARS subpart 225.70 with section 817 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 (Pub. L. 116–283). Simply put, alignment of the DFARS with the statute cannot not be accomplished by any means other than such modification.
The proposed modification imposes no excessive burden on small business. As noted in the discussion accompanying the proposal, the higher threshold of $250,000 had been in effect only a few months, and the number of acquisitions that were potentially eligible for the higher threshold was limited due to that short window. Rather than a burden, the lower threshold will now assure more opportunities for U.S. small businesses to participate in Department of Defense procurement under the Berry Amendment. We strongly agree with this statement that is included in the proposed rule and note that this is the reason why Congress decided to pass Section 817:
DoD expects the reduction required by section 817 to result in an increase in the number of procurements of domestically sourced end products that are subject to 10 U.S.C. 2533a.
Second, the Rule can be improved by inserting the phrase "Small Purchase Threshold of" before "$150,000".
The caption of Section 817 denotes the change as "MODIFICATION TO SMALL PURCHASE THRESHOLD EXCEPTION…". Adding the phrase "Small Purchase Threshold" in the FAR itself is consistent with the statutory language.
In Paragraph b of Section 817 of the NDAA Congress subjects this Small Purchase Threshold to quinquennial reviews and adjustments based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. In some future time, when the amount is no longer $150,000 due to inflation adjustment, it will be useful to have a name for this threshold. Calling this threshold, the Small Purchase Threshold will insure that printed matter or website materials that reference it will not become obsolete and contain inaccurate information in five years.
We often find contracting officers and others referring to Congress's action in Section 817 as a reduction in the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. This is incorrect and likely to result in confusion. Congress did not change the SAT, rather, Section 817 decouples the threshold for the Berry Amendment from the SAT and creates a new, and separate, lower threshold. Denoting the Berry Amendment threshold as the "Small Purchase Threshold" avoids potential confusion with the SAT, which is still in effect for many acquisitions.
Third, the Rule should clarify that contracts cannot be split up to get under the new Small Purchase Threshold. One of the reasons why Congress dropped the level from $250,000 to $150,000 for Berry Amendment solicitations was to make it harder to break up contracts into smaller contracts that could then be tendered under the threshold. There has long been concern that the Berry Amendment may be circumvented by breaking contracts up to artificially stay below the threshold.
In general, such activity is impermissible. In fact, Section 817 also explicitly included a probation of this very practice for clarification:
A proposed procurement of an item in an amount greater than $150,000 may not be divided into several purchases or contracts for lesser amounts in order to qualify for this exception.
We strongly recommend that, at the appropriate place, the FAR be amended to reflect this clarifying requirement to ensure full compliance and understanding on the part of contracting officers.
Finally, we take this opportunity to say that this level is still higher than we would like, particularly in the case of procurements of home textiles by military bases, which are almost always under the threshold but cumulatively (when all individual base procurements are aggregated) exceed it. We believe additional work and study needs to be done to make sure these procurements are purchased from U.S. manufacturers made with U.S. materials.
As noted above, the contracting model for our industry is built on the Berry Amendment (10 U.S.C. §§2533a), a longstanding provision that requires the Defense Department to supply our troops with U.S.-made textiles, apparel and other sewn products, and footwear. This provision is premised on the fact that the United States cannot mount a credible national security posture if we do not have domestic access to the textiles and related materials that clothe and equip our warfighters. In recent years, those textiles have become increasingly sophisticated, enabling our troops a better ability to communicate, withstand attacks, mount offenses, shield themselves from the enemy, and heal wounds. Our ability to raise and deploy competitive forces around the world is directly related to the strength of the industry the Berry Amendment enables.
As you can imagine, the Berry Amendment supports the employment of tens of thousands of Americans in manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and remains popular across a wide cross-section of Congress. It also enjoys broad support throughout the military, as the Berry Amendment ensures a steady supply of comfortable, high-quality, and high-performance uniforms and products as well as a capacity that allows this industrial base to surge in times of urgency.
Keeping the Berry Amendment strong, and making sure loopholes like the small purchase threshold, are limited is vital for warfighter readiness and the healthy of this industrial base.
Monday, November 29, 2021
On behalf of the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), we welcome the opportunity to submit comments supporting DFARS Case 2021-D010, Modification of Small Purchase Threshold Exceptions. Our member companies are committed to providing Berry Amendment compliant materials and finished goods to the U.S. Department of Defense and comprise an important sector within the domestic defense industrial base (DIB). As made clearly evident by the Covid-19 pandemic response, the federal government has been challenged to source critical safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) from domestic manufacturers. Expanding the requirement for domestic purchasing will strengthen the Department’s ability to support the DIB and increase the number of available domestically manufactured items.
The WPRC is the voice of advocacy for the individual and equipment needs of the warfighter and peacekeeper. Our membership includes 50 companies located throughout the United States, including manufacturers of tactical equipment, chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) protective equipment, apparel, materials, and technology companies. Our members are committed to ensuring that American service members, including National Guard and Reserve units, serve the American public with superior gear now and in the future. The WPRC provides a unified industry voice working to sustain the new standard of innovation and capability born from the ongoing conflicts around the world. Our members stand ready to support efforts by the Federal government to increase domestic production of critical items.
NCTO is a unique association representing the entire spectrum of the textile sector. From fibers to finished products, from machinery manufacturers to power suppliers, NCTO is the voice of the U.S. textile industry. Our mission is focused on creating powerful national and international alliances to advance the interests of the U.S. textile sector. NCTO acts as the point of contact for the textile industry with DLA and other important offices and groups within DoD to ensure that we are coordinating swiftly and efficiently to meet the Department’s textile needs. NCTO members work with the military’s product development teams far in advance of solicitations developing the next generation of warfighter textile products. NCTO members deliver in excess of 90% of the Berry compliant textiles needed annually by the military—all high quality products delivered at spec and on the timeline demanded by our warfighters.
Domestically focused to ensure a prosperous future for critical mission work, WPRC and NCTO’s collective memberships are on the front lines meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.
DFARS Case 2021-010 is a positive step forward by the Department of Defense to support the Berry Amendment compliant companies with the DIB. WPRC and NCTO member companies are employers and manufacturers committed to domestic manufacturing and maintaining good paying, high skilled jobs in the United States. WPRC and NCTO worked together to ensure that congressional language authorizing this policy improvement was included in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), demonstrating broad support among members of Congress for this policy. Section 817 of the FY2021 NDAA demonstrates clear congressional intent to support the Berry Amendment compliant DIB and strengthen 10 USC 2533a (Berry Amendment).
The Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) was designed to allow the U.S. government to avoid many acquisition regulations when purchasing items smaller than major systems. Increasing the SAT to keep up with inflation was viewed as simplifying government acquisitions. However, before Section 817 made necessary corrections, SAT and the Berry Amendment were regrettably linked, meaning that increases to the SAT have had the serious, unintended consequence of increasing foreign acquisition of textiles and other critical items related to personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE).
The FY2018 NDAA raised the SAT from $150,000 to $250,000 which had a serious impact on domestic manufacturers of these products. Unless the SAT and the Berry Amendment requirements are decoupled by regulation, this change poses a substantial threat to the U.S. industrial base and our national security. In FY2017, DoD contracts for textiles and apparel that would no longer be subject to the Berry Amendment totaled approximately $50 million meaning these U.S. taxpayer dollars that otherwise would be used to strengthen the U.S. industrial base to protect our warfighter instead flowed to foreign nations at the expense of American workers and manufacturers. In addition, this change led to unintended confusion with Buy American and Federal Acquisition Regulations.
Of particular note, Section 817 prevents dividing larger contracts into several purchases or contracts for lesser amounts. For too long contracts that could have been executed by domestic firms were divided into smaller contracts under the SAT to eliminate the need for domestic sourcing. This key provision within Section 817 should be maintained by DFARS in the final rulemaking to ensure that domestic sourcing goals are achieved and that the final rule accurately reflects congressional intent.
Section 817 of the FY2021 NDAA and DFARS Case 2021-D010 address this unintended consequence of raising the SAT by decoupling the Berry Amendment from SAT increases, applying Berry Amendment requirements to all DoD purchases over $150,000, and allowing this threshold to be adjusted based on changes to the Consumer Price Index.
WPRC and NCTO are supportive of this rulemaking and are prepared to assist the Department of Defense and OUSD(A&S) with final implementation. Please contact WPRC Executive Director David Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or NCTO President and Chief Executive Officer Kim Glas at email@example.com.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on this important provision for the domestic industrial base and American manufacturing. We look forward to working with you and your team to implement the rule when complete.
In a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication November 30, 2021, the Foreign Trade-Zone Board reports that Fluvitex USA, Inc., has submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board (the Board) for its facility in Groveport, Ohio under FTZ 138. The notification was received on November 23, 2021.
Comments are due 40 days from publication.
The proposed finished products include: plain cotton quilts and comforters; other quilts and comforters; cotton pillows and cushions; and, non-cotton pillows and cushions (duty rate ranges from 4.4% to 12.8%).
The proposed foreign-status materials include:
- recycled hollow conjugated and siliconized 100% polyester fiber – 64mm cut length, density 7 deniers, 32mm cut length, density 7 deniers and 64mm cut length, density 15 deniers;
- recycled polyester microfiber – 32mm cut length, 0.9 deniers and 10mm cut length, 6.1 decitex;
- lyocell fibers, 60mm cut length, 6.7 deniers;
- STRA FABRIC – recycled 65% polyester 35% cotton blend fabric (bleached and dyed) – construction is yarn number 45 (mass divided per unit length) warp x 45 weft, 110 threads per inch (warp) and 76 threads per inch (weft), generates a weight of 100 grams per square meter;
- PLUS FABRIC and PLUS DOTS FABRIC – 55% tencel-natural fiber: viscose and 45% cotton blend (non-printed and printed fabric) – construction is yarn number 40 warp x 40 weft, 140 threads per inch (warp) and 96 threads per inch (weft), construction generates a weight of 140 grams per square meter;
- 100% polyester fabric;
- 100% polypropylene nonwoven fabric;
- 100% polyester pillow covers; sac/bags of cotton for packing of certain pillows;
- cotton pillow covers; cotton pillow shells;
- polyester pillow shells; and, polybags (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 14.9%).
Friday, November 26, 2021
On November 26, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 67579) Procurement Thresholds for Implementation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.
Executive Order 12260 requires the U.S. Trade Representative to set the U.S. dollar thresholds for application of Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.). These obligations apply to covered procurements valued at or above specified U.S. dollar thresholds. In conformity with the provisions of Executive Order 12260, and in order to carry out U.S. trade agreement obligations, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined the U.S. dollar procurement thresholds, effective on January 1, 2022, for calendar years 2022 and 2023.
During the past 50 years, the United States has played a prominent role in the development of international trade rules on government procurement. The most notable of U.S. international agreements addressing procurement and trade are the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and the procurement chapters in most U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs), all of which are implemented primarily through TAA. Data limitations and other factors make it difficult to quantify accurately the size of the global government procurement market. However, these international agreements have opened many procurement opportunities around the world to international competition, worth trillions of U.S. dollars annually, while also requiring parties to establish transparent and nondiscriminatory rules for certain procurements among the parties.U.S. federal procurement expenditures are estimated to have been equivalent to 9.3% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2017.
A 2017 study estimates that the United States opens as much as 80% of its federal contracts to foreign suppliers.
Creighton AB Inc., Reidsville, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $7,943,634 modification (P00004) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1213) with four one-year option periods for men’s broadfall trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are New York and North Carolina, with a Nov. 24, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
On November 24, 2021, the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India and by the Department of the Treasury that the United States announced political agreement with India regarding the treatment of Digital Services Taxes (DSTs) during the interim period prior to full implementation of Pillar 1 of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agreement.
Under this agreement, and consistent with and applying the same terms as the earlier agreements with Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, in defined circumstances the liability from India’s equalisation levy on e-commerce supply of services that U.S. companies accrue in India during the interim period will be creditable against future taxes accrued under Pillar 1 of the OECD agreement. The period during which the credit accrues will, however, be from April 1, 2022 until either the implementation of Pillar 1 or March 31, 2024 (whichever is earlier).
In return, the United States will terminate the currently-suspended additional duties on goods of India that had been adopted in the DST Section 301 investigation. USTR is proceeding with the formal steps required to terminate this Section 301 trade action, and in coordination with Treasury, will monitor implementation of the agreement going forward. Treasury’s statement on the agreement with India may be found here.
The United States has now reached agreement regarding the treatment of DSTs during the transitional period prior to entry into the force of Pillar One of the OECD’s historic agreement on global taxation in all seven of the DST Section 301 investigations.
This agreement removes the threat of 25% tariff on Wool Yarn Put up for Retail and Certain Brassieres from India, as reported in March by Agathon Associates.
Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric Between 70 and 90 Percent Silica, From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Circumvention Inquiry
On November 24, 2021, the International Trade Administration published in the Federal Register (86 FR 67022) [A–570–038, C–570–039] Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric Between 70 and 90 Percent Silica, From the People’s Republic of China: Initiation of Circumvention Inquiry of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders—70–90 Percent Amorphous Silica Fabric.
In response to allegations of circumvention from Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), the Department of Commerce (Commerce) is initiating a country-wide circumvention inquiry to determine whether imports of certain amorphous silica fabric with 70–90 percent silica content (70–90 percent ASF) from the People’s Republic of China (China) are circumventing the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on certain amorphous silica fabric with a silica content of at least 90 percent from China.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
The Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute alleges that Garments Advertised by Amazon as “100% Cashmere Made in Scotland” are Actually 100% Acrylic not made in Scotland
The Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (“CCMI”), whose members include major Cashmere fabric and garment manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the United States and abroad, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts seeking to stop Amazon’s widespread marketing and sale, both in the U.S. and internationally, of garments that CCMI alleges are being falsely advertised and misrepresented as “100% Cashmere” when they are actually made entirely of a type of synthetic, petroleum-based acrylic that is much cheaper, less warm and more flammable than Cashmere, and contains chemicals that are not present in Cashmere.
“A consumer has the right to expect that garments offered by an established retailer like Amazon will not be materially mislabeled and misrepresented in this way, said Fabio Garzena, President of CCMI, “and when it occurs, CCMI and its members, who make some of the finest Cashmere products in the world, suffer real economic harm. Karl Spilhaus, President Emeritus of CCMI, added that “for more than 35 years, CCMI has been fighting to protect the good name and reputation of Cashmere as a fine specialty fiber; this is the latest chapter in that long story.
The complaint in the action, in which CCMI is represented by Robert J. Kaler of Holland & Knight, is available at www.cashmere.org, and details CCMI’s efforts to uncover and challenge the mislabeling at issue. The name of the case is CCMI v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al, Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-11872-WGY.
For further information contact: James Coleman, CCMI USA Representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Agathon Associates, will be closed Thursday, November 25th, in celebration of Thanksgiving Day, a major holiday in the United States. All government offices and most businesses will be closed for the day. Many business, other than retail, will also be closed on Friday, the 26th.
Originally headed for the northern part of the Virginia Colony -- roughly in the area where New York City is now located -- they ended up landing off-course, up here in what would become New England. Being out of the bounds of any established colony, where a colonial charter formed the basis for civil society, the Mayflower passengers found themselves, technically, outside of the law. Their response? They would remain loyal subjects of the king, but they would create their own local laws. Pilgrims, who made the passage for religious reasons, and others who crossed the Atlantic for commercial gain, agreed to live together in the New World under equal laws created democratically "for the General good."
The Mayflower Compact was signed on November 11, 1620 (Julian Calendar, the 21st in our Gregorian Calendar) on board the Mayflower at anchor in Provincetown Harbor. In it they agreed to: "solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience." And, thus, was established the first experiment in limited self-government in North America.
This Thanksgiving may God bless all the readers of the Textiles and Trade Blog with his bounty and with health of body and mind.
In addition to our prayers of Thanksgiving, may I suggest --
O Most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succor. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
On November 1, 2021, 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 the Belarusian regime’s orchestration of irregular migration across its borders issuing the following statement:
"These callous acts are putting peoples’ lives at risk. We are united in our solidarity with Poland, as well as with Lithuania and Latvia, which have been targeted by this provocative use of irregular migration as a hybrid tactic.
"We call on the regime to cease immediately its aggressive and exploitative campaign in order to prevent further deaths and suffering. International organizations need to be provided with immediate and unhindered access to deliver humanitarian assistance. The actions of the Belarusian regime are an attempt to deflect attention from its ongoing disregard for international law, fundamental freedoms and human rights, including those of its own people.
"We commend the actions of the European Union, which is working closely with countries of origin and transit to put an end to the actions of the Lukashenko regime. We will continue to work together to hold those responsible to account and to support civil society and human rights in Belarus."
Manufacturers and business organizations are mobilizing to urge Congress to pass Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill temporarily removes or reduces anti-competitive tariffs on goods that are not made domestically or are not available in sufficient quantities in the United States. The last MTB expired after Dec. 2020 and since then, manufacturers and other businesses in the United States have been at a disadvantage compared to foreign competitors. Amidst a global pandemic, severe supply chain shortages and other hurdles, the lack of action on the MTB is yet another challenge.
The National Association of Manufacturers has taken the lead in drafting a letter to Congress urging action on the MTB. You can Join them in telling Congress that it has the opportunity to support manufacturers, businesses, workers and consumers in the United States by passing bipartisan MTB legislation by the end of the year.
This letter is open to companies, business and industry associations, state and local chambers and allied organizations. Non-NAM member companies, associations and other organizations are welcome to join, as well. The deadline to sign onto this letter is Wednesday, November 24 at 10:00 p.m. EST. You will receive a copy of the final letter when it is distributed to Congress.
Termination of Actions in the Section 301 Digital Services Tax Investigations of Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom and Further Monitoring
On November 1, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 64590) Termination of Actions in the Section 301 Digital Services Tax Investigations of Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom and Further Monitoring.
Agathon Associates previously reported this agreement will avert imposition of retaliatory tariffs on:
- Certain apparel and footwear from the U.K.,
- Certain travel goods, apparel of wool, cashmere, or other fibers, and footwear from Italy,
- Certain textiles from Austria, and
- Travel goods, footwear, and hats from Spain.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
On November 17, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced the launch of the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade. The initiative reaffirms the shared commitment to strengthen this alliance through regular engagement on trade-related matters of importance to both countries.
Read more HERE.
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) is considering two Commercial Availability Requests filed by VF Corp relating to certain polyester/spandex 3-layered bonded fabric.
Responses are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), November 30, 2021. Rebuttals to Responses are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), December 6, 2021.
The requests are available HERE.
On November 16, 2021, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, met virtually with ASEAN Economic Ministers at the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) – Canada Consultations, where they announced that Canada and ASEAN have agreed to proceed with negotiations toward a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), marking an historic milestone in the Canada-ASEAN relationship.
The 10th AEM-Canada Consultations meeting was co-chaired by Minister Ng and His Excellency Dato Dr. Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei Darussalam, and included a briefing by senior representatives from the Canada-ASEAN Business Council.
At the virtual meeting, the ministers agreed to a joint statement highlighting the potential for an FTA to help diversify supply chains, increase trade and investment, and reinforce Canada and ASEAN’s shared commitment to open markets and rules-based trade.
Canadians expressed a high level of support for an FTA with ASEAN during public consultations carried out by the Government of Canada. A report of key themes identified through the consultations can be found on Global Affairs Canada’s website.
Minister Ng will table a Notice of Intent to enter into FTA negotiations with ASEAN as well as Canada’s negotiating objectives, in the House of Commons, consistent with the amended Policy on Tabling of Treaties in Parliament. Both items will be tabled in advance of a first round of negotiations in accordance with the timelines identified in the amended policy.
Polyester Textured Yarn From Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC
On November 16, 2021, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of polyester textured yarn from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value.
The report will be available by December 28, 2021; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.
Last month the Department of Commerce has determined that polyester textured yarn (yarn) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The investigations and determinations relate to four exporting nations, the following dumping rates:
Section 301 Exclusions Relating to Medical-care Products Needed to Address the COVID–19 Pandemic Extended for Additional Six Months
On November 17, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 63438) Notice of Product Exclusion Extensions: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.
In prior notices, the U.S. Trade Representative modified the action in the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation by excluding from additional duties certain medical-care products needed to address the COVID–19 pandemic. The 99 exclusions for medical care products to address COVID–19 were published on December 29, 2020, and are scheduled to expire on November 14, 2021. On August 27, 2021, USTR requested comments on whether to extend the COVID exclusions. This notice announces the U.S. Trade Representative’s determination to provide a 16-day transition period for all COVID exclusions (through November 30, 2021), and to extend 81 of the COVID exclusions for an additional 6 months.
Knox County Association for Remarkable Citizens, Vincennes, Indiana, has been awarded a $12,234,023 modification (P00002) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-21-D-N140) with two one-year option periods for the GEN III, Layer II, Mid-Weight Undershirt. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Indiana, with a Nov. 24, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Description: This recall involves the style Baby Ruffle Romper, the style number 66919 is written on the main label at the neck of the top. It’s a 100% cotton romper with ruffles sold in Petal Pink, Golden Hour and Juniper with a polka dot pattern in U.S. sizes from zero months to three years and Euro sizes 50-90. There are metal snaps starting from the neckline to the center of the romper.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Ruffle Romper and contact Hanna Andersson for a full refund. Hanna Andersson will be providing postage-paid labeling to consumers for the return of the product for a full refund. Hanna Andersson is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Description: This recall involves the style Baby Ruffle Romper, the style number 66919 is written on the main label at the neck of the top. It’s a 100% cotton romper with ruffles sold in Petal Pink, Golden Hour and Juniper with a polka dot pattern in U.S. sizes from zero months to three years and Euro sizes 50-90. There are metal snaps starting from the neckline to the center of the romper.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Ruffle Romper and contact Hanna Andersson for a full refund. Hanna Andersson will be
providing postage-paid labeling to consumers for the return of the product for a full refund. Hanna Andersson is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries: Hanna Andersson has received three incidents of the snaps detaching or fabric around the snaps ripping. No incidents of children putting snaps in their mouths or injuries have been reported.
Sold At Exclusively Online at www.hannaandersson.com from July 2021 through October 2021 for about $40.
Manufactured In: Bangladesh
Importer(s): Hanna Anderson LLC, of Portland, Oregon
Recall number: 22-710
More information and photos at HERE
Description: This recall involves the Baby Long Sleeve Wiggle Set, the style number 66938 is written on the main label at the neck of the top. Metal snaps are located at the crotch of the top. It’s a 100% cotton long-sleeve top and pant set sold in Petal Pink with a pink floral pattern; Golden Hour with black and white polka dots and gold trim; and Navy Blue with a green turtle print and navy trim. The set comes in U.S. sizes from zero months to three years and Euro sizes 50-90.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Baby Long Sleeve Wiggle Set and contact Hanna Andersson for a full refund. Hanna Andersson will be providing postage-paid labeling to consumers for the return of the product for a full refund. Hanna Andersson is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries: Hanna Andersson has received one reported incident of the snaps detaching. No injuries have been reported. No incidents of children putting snaps in their mouths or injuries have been reported.
Sold At Exclusively online at www.hannaandersson.com from July 2021 through October 2021 for about $46.
Manufactured In: Bangladesh
Importer(s): Hanna Anderson LLC, of Portland, Oregon
Recall number: 22-709
More information and photos HERE.
Friday, November 12, 2021
CBP at the LA/Long Beach Seaport Reports Record-Breaking Year for Seizures of Counterfeit and Prohibited Merchandise
In Fiscal Year 2021 (October 1, 2020 - September 30, 2021), amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport identified and seized an unprecedented amount of high-value contraband, counterfeit goods and other prohibited merchandise.
The number of trade enforcement seizures increased by 24% and the overall value of these seizures increased by 652% over the previous year. CBP interdicted counterfeit products that pose a significant risk to public safety such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other items such as electronics, high fashion wearing apparel, footwear, jewelry, and accessories. The record-breaking seizures were appraised at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $760,615,994, a 652% increase from the year before.
Read more HERE.
On November 11, 2021, Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement:
“The security situation in Haiti is rapidly deteriorating and is being exacerbated by ongoing fuel shortages.
“As a result, Global Affairs Canada is temporarily withdrawing non-essential Canadian employees as well as family members of Canadian embassy staff from Haiti."
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2019-2020
On November 12, 2021, the International Trade Administration will publish in the Federal Register (86 FR 62786) [A–533–875] Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2019–2020
On October 8, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 56345) Request for Comments on the Possible Reinstatement of Certain Exclusions in the Section 301 Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. 549 exclusions are eligible for consideration for reinstatement.
Agathon Associates can help you with exclusions for your imported articles subject to the China Section 301 tariffs. During the exclusion process under the Trump Administration the success of Agathon Associates in obtaining exclusions for clients was twice the average rate. The Biden Administration has signaled that exclusions will be "targetted," and while not specifying precisely what targetted means, it is clear that this administration is particularly sensitive to the burden of tariffs on small businesses.
Exclusions reinstated pursuant to this review would be retroactive with respect to merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the opening of the docket on October 12, 2021, for which the entries are not liquidated at the time the claim to apply the reinstated exclusion is made to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in accordance with their procedures.
The dealine for filing is December 1, 2021.
On Nov. 10, 2021, the American Apparel and Footwear Association announed the addition of David Trumbull to the team as a consultant, who will be the point person for AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee. David brings 20 years of experience in textile and apparel policy issues, including those affecting the Berry Amendment and government contractors, and has worked closely with many AAFA members during the past two decades.
Current Agathon Associates clients will continue to received the services they have come to rely on.
The United States has a long history of commitment to combatting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Cambodia and globally. Recent developments in Cambodia, including systemic corruption, transnational organized crime, and human rights abuses, threaten both U.S. national security interests and the fundamental freedoms of people in Cambodia. U.S. officials have regularly raised these concerns with Cambodia’s leaders, but regrettably there have been no meaningful changes.
On November 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Commerce have jointly issued a business advisory to caution U.S. businesses currently operating in, or considering operating in, Cambodia to be mindful of interactions with entities involved in corrupt business practices, criminal activities, and human rights abuses. This advisory addresses two primary areas of exposure for U.S. companies in Cambodia:
- Illicit financial activities and related risks in the financial, real estate, casino, and infrastructure sectors; and
- Entanglements with Cambodian entities involved in trafficking in persons, wildlife and narcotics trafficking, and related risks in some areas of the manufacturing and timber sectors.
Businesses should apply appropriate due diligence to mitigate the reputational, economic, and possible legal risks associated with potential exposure to entities in Cambodia that engage in corruption, criminal activities, illicit financial activities, or human rights abuses.
Additionally, the United States Trade Representative will conduct an assessment of Cambodia’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility as part of a broader GSP evaluation. This assessment will be conducted following reauthorization of the program benefits and will include any new or amended eligibility criteria established by Congress.
The United States will continue to promote accountability for criminal activities, corrupt business practices, and human rights abuses through a whole-of-government effort and in close coordination with the private sector and our allies and partners.
Read the full business advisory here: https://www.state.gov/cambodia-business-advisory-on-high-risk-investments-and-interactions/.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
McRae Industries Inc., doing business as McRae Footwear, Mount Gilead, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $8,139,395 modification (P00008) exercising the fourth one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-18-D-1011) with four one-year option periods for hot weather combat boots. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Nov. 13, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Your IP Matters! How to Report Suspected Imports of Infringing Goods Through the e-Allegations Program
On November 23, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Trade, will be presenting a complimentary webinar.
Learn more or register HERE.
Thursday, November 11, 2021, is Veterans Day, a federal holiday in the United States. National, state, and local government offices will be closed in commemoration. Most businesses will be open.
Q. Which is the correct spelling of Veterans Day?
a. Veterans Day
b. Veteran's Day
c. Veterans' Day
A. Veterans Day (choice a, above). Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of "veterans" because it is not a day that "belongs" to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.
Q. On what day of the week will Veterans Day be observed?
A. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. The Veterans Day National Ceremony, like most ceremonies around the nation, is held on Veterans Day itself. However, when Veterans Day falls on a weekday, many communities choose to hold Veterans Day parades or other celebrations on the weekend before or after November 11 so that more people can participate.
Q. What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?
A. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.
Q. Why are red poppies worn on Veterans Day, and where can I obtain them?
A. The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day. For information on how to obtain poppies for use on Memorial Day, contact a veterans service organization, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) or The American Legion, as a number of veterans organizations distribute poppies annually on Memorial Day.
Importers cannot cancel entries filed to take advantage of pending or potential decreases in Section 301 duties
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Office of Trade is reminding the trade community that requests for entry or entry summary cancellation must comply with 19 CFR § 141.67 and occur before the effective time of entry as set forth in 19 CFR § 141.68. Moreover, the trade must also ensure compliance with 19 CFR § 142.2(a) if an entry or entry summary is cancelled. In addition, entry or entry summary cancellations pursuant to 19 CFR § 141.67 may only occur prior to the release of goods, except when goods are released under immediate delivery procedures. See 225317 (Oct. 25, 1994). Importers cannot cancel entries filed to take advantage of pending or potential decreases in Section 301 duties and/or approval/extension of exclusions in violation of the applicable regulations.
This ASTM standard is being balloted for its 5-year review. The mandatory caveats included scope are updated to conform to the current ASTM Blue Book on standards. Additionally, a misspelled word in clause 14.2 has been corrected.
On November 10, 2021, the U.S. International Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (86 FR 62565) notice of the institution of an investigation and commencement of preliminary phase antidumping duty investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded, by reason of imports of superabsorbent polymers from South Korea, provided for in subheading 3906.90.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value.
The investigation is in response to a petition filed on November 2, 2021, bythe Ad Hoc Coalition of American SAP Producers, whose members include BASF Corporation, Florham Park, New Jersey; Evonik Superabsorber LLC, Greensboro, North Carolina; and Nippon Shokubai America Industries, Inc., Pasadena, Texas.
Negotiation of a Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement With the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania
On November 9, 2021, the Department of Defense, Defense Acquisition Regulations System published in the Federal Register (86 FR 62155) Negotiation of a Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement With the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania.
On behalf of the U.S. Government, DoD is contemplating negotiating and concluding a Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement with the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania. DoD is requesting industry feedback regarding its experience in public defense procurements conducted by or on behalf of the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence or Armed Forces.
: Comments must be received by December 6, 2021.
DoD has concluded Reciprocal Defense Procurement (RDP) Agreements with 27 qualifying countries, as defined in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 225.003, at the level of the Secretary of Defense and his counterpart. The purpose of an RDP Agreement is to promote rationalization, standardization, and interoperability of conventional defense equipment with allies and other friendly governments. These Agreements provide a framework for ongoing communication regarding market access and procurement matters that enhance effective defense cooperation.
On November 2, 2021, more than 100 U.S. Coast Guard recruits received initial issue uniform items under the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s new item management process USCG Training Center Cape May, New Jersey.
Operational dress uniforms, t-shirts and socks were among the items DLA Troop Support’s Clothing and Textiles supply chain helped transition from the previous issuance and manual restocking process, said Patricia Sanborn-Hunt, customer account specialist for C&T’s Marine Corps and Coast Guard recruit cell.
For nearly two years, C&T facilitated the transition of 1,200 national stock number-listed items from USCG to DLA ownership, in addition to aiding with infrastructure updates to improve the issuance process, said Cynthia Merceron, supervisor of C&T’s Marine Corps and Coast Guard recruit cell.
Read more HERE.
Emily Maling and Paige Witzen, Consumer Product Safety Commission Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, will participate via teleconference in AATCC Fall Committee Meetings being held in Research Triangle Park, NC on November 15-16, 2021 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. For more information, including meeting location and call-in information, please contact Emily Maling at email@example.com of 301-987-2301.
Friday, November 5, 2021
Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $18,693,000 modification (P00016) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1100) with four one-year option periods for poly/wool, serge, blue cloth and elastique, green poly/wool cloth. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Nov. 4, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $8,177,895 modification (P00011) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1112) with four one-year option periods for wool, serge, navy blue, sponged mothproof cloth. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Nov. 4, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
$1M for Merrow Expansion, 150 Jobs Fall River’s Merrow Manufacturing, a Major PPE Manufacturer, Receives CARES Act Loan Administered by MassDevelopment
Thank you to https://www.etextilecommunications.com/ for alerting us that MassDevelopment has provided a $1 million equipment loan from the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund to Merrow Manufacturing, which will use funds to support the first phase of a major expansion and buy equipment – including a high-speed spreader/cutter machine and an ultrasonic machine for seaming and lamination – that will modernize the company’s manufacturing operations. Merrow Manufacturing, together with its affiliate Merrow Sewing Machine Company, Inc., is a textile manufacturer located in Fall River that specializes in the construction of technical sewn products. The company is a member of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Manufacturing Emergency Response Team and has been at the forefront of Massachusetts’ pandemic response as one of the Commonwealth’s largest producers of personal protective equipment (PPE). Merrow Manufacturing, which currently employs approximately 235 employees, expects to create an additional 150 new jobs in the next three years.
Read more HERE.
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Effective November 4, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by a group of companies collectively known as Smart Glove. This group of companies includes Smart Glove Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX3 Specialty Plant, Sigma Glove Industries, and Platinum Glove Industries Sdn Bhd.
CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against disposable gloves produced by Smart Glove based on information that reasonably indicates that Smart Glove production facilities utilize forced labor. CBP identified seven of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) indicators of forced labor during its investigation.
Two heritage American brands announce the launch of their first collaboration. Lee®, the iconic apparel brand known for its timeless style, and Pendleton Woolen Mills, the family-owned lifestyle brand rooted in the Pacific Northwest, have partnered on a curated capsule that celebrates American craftsmanship.
Read more HERE.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
On October 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commision Published in the Federal Register (86 FR 59851) Procedures for Responding to Petitions for Rulemaking
The Federal Trade Commission is updating its procedures for responding to petitions for rulemaking. These changes will provide increased transparency and promote public participation in the rulemaking process. Pursuant to the amendments, the FTC will provide notice and an opportunity for public comment on petitions for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of regulations. The rules also provide greater guidance to the public on the procedures for filing petitions and the types of material that may be submitted in support of a petition.
On October 29, 2021, Deputy United States Trade Representatives Sarah Bianchi and Jayme White co-chaired a roundtable discussion with senior U.S. textile executives to discuss their role in creating economic opportunities in the United States and Central America, especially the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Read the USTR statement on the roundtable HERE.
On October 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that the U.S. has agreed to lift the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum from the EU, but will replace them with a quota system.
Read more HERE.
On November 2, 2021, President Biden announced three countries will be terminated from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act trade preference program as of January 1, 2022, absent urgent action to meet statutory eligibility criteria. The Administration cited deep concerns over the unconstitutional change in governments in both Guinea and Mali, and by the gross violations of internationally recognized human rights being perpetrated by the Government of Ethiopia and other parties amid the widening conflict in northern Ethiopia. These countries are set to be removed from this program due to actions taken by their governments in violation of the AGOA Statute. The United States urged these governments to take necessary actions to meet the statutory criteria, and will provide each country with clear benchmarks for a pathway toward reinstatement.