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Industry Talk

AAFA urges swift approval of USMCA

The American Apparel & Footwear Association has announced its full support for quick passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

6th March 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Washington, DC


“Our North American apparel and footwear value chain is an integral component of the future of our industry. USMCA provides the stability and predictability that we need for our companies to invest in the region as we grow our footprint,” said Rick Helfenbein, President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

“Today, more than 200,000 American jobs in our industry are supported by NAFTA. We are calling on Congress to approve the USMCA this year and for the Administration to quickly and seamlessly implement it.”

“To meet the needs of today’s retail environment, apparel and footwear companies need to have a diverse supply chain that can meet consumer expectations,” commented Tom Glaser, Vice President, VF Corporation and President, Supply Chain and AAFA Chairman. “The North American region is a key part of this matrix, and the USMCA will be an important part of its future.”

AAFA has long supported the USMCA negotiations, calling for the resulting agreement to be trilateral with Mexico and Canada, to not harm to the industry’s supply chains, and to be seamlessly implemented. As part of its support for USMCA, AAFA is an active member of the USMCA coalition.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) board of directors also endorsed the agreement last December.

USMCA improvements over NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, include a standalone chapter for textiles and apparel (NAFTA does not have a separate chapter covering textile and apparel rules of origin); stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics; fixing the Kissell Amendment loophole; and stronger rules for customs enforcement.

Further reading

NCTO endorses USMCA

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