Issue 463  | April 6, 2018
Upcoming Training

April 9
New Delhi, India

April 10-11
New Delhi, India

April 26-27
Bangalore, India

The WRAP Blog
Darlene Ugwa

Welcome to The WRAP Weekly newsletter.  Feel free to look around and thank you for being a loyal reader.

This week, we certified 45 factories in 14 countries:

 Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mauritius, Peru, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam

Upcoming Events

May 17

May 21-23
Miami, Florida, USA

June 20-21
Cape Town, South Africa

This Week's Headlines

WorldBankThe World Bank has approved US $560 million in funding to be invested in Bangladesh's microenterprises and into improving a reliable power supply in the country. $110 million of that amount will be allocated to the Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) which will help 20,000 microenterprises adopt environmentally-friendly practices. The remaining $450 million will go to the Enhancement and Strengthening of Power Transmission Network in Eastern Region Project (ESPTNERP), which will expand the power transmission network in the eastern region.
*NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has "strongly recommended" the Bangladesh government improve workers' rights in areas of salary and legislation by raising the minimum wage, reducing the gender pay gap, and improving labor legislature and employment injury insurance. The Committee made the recommendation based on a self-assessment submitted by the government. The Committee's recommendations align with previous recommendations by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and global unions. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

A fire in an embroidery factory in the capital's East Kazipara area has killed one worker and injured two others. The fire began in the early hours of the day at the Sadid Sourcing factory and is thought to have originated from a short circuit. ( The Daily Star)

ChinaThe Chinese government has announced it will impose a 25% tax on 106 of American products, which they believe are within their rights under the World Trade Organizations agreement. Included in the 106 products are automobiles and various chemicals. These tariffs are in retaliation to the United States' initial tariffs on Chinese products like electric cars, jet engines, and vaccines. ( Fibre2Fashion)

In order to address perceived decrease in work resulting from the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST), the textile market laborer's union in the district of Surat is proposing an increase on the rates charged for various types of work including cutting, folding, and packaging. The union has informed all textile markets in the area of the proposed change. ( Times of India)

Speaking at the Kenya Leather Development Programme meeting in Nairobi, a representative of the Ministry of Industrialization said that Kenya hopes its leather sector can add up to 70,000 new jobs by 2022. They also hope the growing sector can boost the overall economy from US $138 million to $544 million. Participants at the program discussed what skills gap the Kenyan leather industry had and discussed methods to address those needs. ( Sourcing Journal)
*NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

The Myanmar Labor Union for Industrial and Various Services led a rally to demand the government strictly enforce the implementation of the minimum daily wage increase. The National Committee for the Minimum Wage proposed their recommendation to the government, but according to the General Secretary of the union, the Ministry of Labour has not taken any action. The union has made five demands regarding the minimum wage, including to set the wage at no less than K5600, for employers to respect the minimum wage law, to resolve disputes with workers quickly, to eradicate corruption, and to set service and skills allowances. ( Myanmar Times)

Pakistan recently organized and hosted its first buying and sourcing symposium. Many foreign textile buying houses advised the Pakistani government to set up a central social compliance center to aid in the improvement of social standards in manufacturing. The buyers said that social compliance is a factor in choosing where to source from and many have been shifting into Bangladesh and other countries because of this. The Commerce Ministry is developing a strategic trade policy framework for 2018-2023 and will incorporate this recommendation. ( Fibre2Fashion )

ThailandAccording to the Deputy Prime Minister, Thailand is exploring ways to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). They are seeking support from Japan, which is party to the current 11-member agreement. (Bangkok Post)

United States
RwandaAfter the annual review of countries within the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), US President Trump determined that Rwanda unfairly blocked US exports of used clothing and were not making sufficient progress toward the "elimination of barriers to the US trade and investment". As a result, the US has suspended Rwanda from the duty-free benefits which fall under AGOA. Tanzania and Uganda were also found to be in violation but were exempt from the suspension after they removed the tariffs on imports of used clothing and footwear. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

Following a three-month transition period, and based on feedback from various stakeholders, Oeko-Tex has updated their guidelines and standards. In hopes of supporting consumer protection and sustainability and incorporating on-going scientific innovations. Companies whose products are made from organic cotton or with organic cotton parts and who wish to claim their textile is "organic" or "bio" must now undergo additional lab testing before approval. ( Fibre2Fashion

The Trump Administration is encouraging that a preliminary draft of the updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be announced at the Summit of the Americas, which begins on April 23 in Peru. The President would like the leaders from Canada and Mexico to join him in unveiling this revised agreement. Earlier this week, the President threaten to pull of out the NAFTA agreement if Mexico did not stop a caravan of migrants on Mexican territory, form entering the US. ( Bloomberg Politics)

TariffsThe United States is considering plans to impose an additional US $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese products in response to China's recent countermeasures. President Trump has instructed the United States Trade Representative to investigate if that is an adequate response. ( CNN Money)

Fires destroyed two factories in the Binh Duong and Quang Ninh districts of Vietnam. A furniture factory, RK Resources Co., Ltd. in Bau Bang Industrial Zone, and a textile facility, Texhong Yinlong Technology Limited's factory No.4, in Hai Yen Industrial Park, were both extensively damaged. No loss of life was reported in either case and the cause of both fires remains under investigation. ( Viet Nam Net)

VietnamThe European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is close to being signed and is expected to increase the level of Vietnamese exports substantially. The EU is the second largest export destination for Vietnam and with this agreement, which will cut tariffs to 0%, this market can grow for the textile and footwear industry. ( Viet Nam Net)

West Africa
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Standards Alliance, and Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA) held two-day trainings in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to raise awareness about the US standards systems and the role of voluntary consensus standards. With these insights, attendees from the textile industry - including manufacturers, designers, education and training facilities - will be better able to produce products that can compete in the American market. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

About WRAP
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with regional offices in Hong Kong, SAR, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, full-time staff in Europe, India and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia), and for Latin America, WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education. To learn more about WRAP, please visit .

WRAP | |
2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 601
Arlington, VA 22201