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AAFA, STR Host TPP Workshop in Ho Chi Minh City

In order to shed some light on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and what it will mean for the apparel industry, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) in partnership with Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg (STR), will host a TPP workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday, May 14.

The workshop, geared specifically for the apparel, footwear and travel goods industries, will take place during the next round of TPP negotiations in Vietnam next week, and feature a full update and discussion of the partnership from a both legislative and legal perspective. Nate Herman, AAFA’s vice president of International Trade, and Elise Shibles, partner at STR will present at the event.

Rick Helfenbein, president of TellaS Ltd., and Chairman of AAFA’s Board of Directors, said, “Next week’s conference will give textile, apparel, and footwear companies a chance to learn what is at stake in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as these talks enter a crucial end game.”

The workshop will begin with a discussion of the overall agreement and then address specific areas impacting apparel and footwear including:

·         Textile and apparel primary rule of origin

·         Textile and apparel rule of origin flexibilities, including short supply

·         Politics and various TPP countries’ positions on flexibilities for textile and apparel rules of origin

·         Accumulation of materials to meet the rules of origin

·         The US position on market access for textiles and apparel

·         Self-certification

·         Anticipated timeline between date of signature and date of implementation

“The TPP has been touted as one of the Obama Administration’s signature trade initiatives,” Helfenbein said.  “When completed, it will cover 40 percent of the world’s GDP and 40 percent of U.S. exports.  It also includes some of the most dynamic economies in the Pacific Rim, including Vietnam, which is the second largest source of apparel and footwear to the U.S. market.

And, according to the AAFA, while the TPP presents enormous opportunity — assuming it is negotiated correctly — it also has triggered incredible anxiety leaving serious questions remaining about whether the TPP can be completed given the challenges presented by the complex undertaking.

See here for full event details.