Issue 411 | March 15, 2017
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The WRAP Blog

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

The WRAP Up
Last week we certified 45 factories in 13 countries:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

As of the sending of this newsletter, there are 2,316 factories with current WRAP certificates around the world employing 2,113,376 workers.  
This Week's Headlines
Chile
chileThis week, Chile hosted trade representatives from 12 Pacific nations, including several signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) along with China and South Korea, for talks centered on growing economic cooperation. The gathering comes in the wake of the recent decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull the country out of the TPP which prompted many to question the future of the overall deal. Participants at the meeting stress that they are focused more broadly on overall Pacific trade ties, which could include a new agreement, and not just on the TPP. ( CNBC)

China
Government leaders in China say that a trade war with the United States would result in economic harm to both countries. Speaking during a press conference at the end of the annual meeting of China's parliament, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that he hopes that both countries can negotiate and resolve any economic differences on trade and that those issues that cannot be resolved should be "shelved." Keqiang is reportedly scheduled to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump next month. ( Sourcing Journal*NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

Germany
automatedA fully-automated Digital Textile Micro Factory will be on display at this year's Texprocess trade show in Germany. The display will consist of 4 completely automated production processes (design, printing, cutting, and fabrication) each developed by an independent technology provider. Show officials say the exhibit demonstrates a new avenue for companies to better respond and react to fashion market trends. ( Fibre2Fashion)

The Netherlands
iafThe International Apparel Federation (IAF) says that global geopolitical tensions, political polarization, and a growing wave of populism could disrupt the international apparel and textile trade. Speaking at a recent trade event, IAF President Han Bekke said that the aforementioned trends could easily result in a growing wave of protectionism and import duties across the major trading nations of the world. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

United Kingdom
rankingA new public ranking has been launched aiming to compare the corporate human rights performance of the world's largest companies. The "Corporate Human Rights Benchmark" assesses a company's policies, governance, processes, and transparency in regards to human rights within their supply chain. British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) topped the initial version of the index with Nestle, Adidas, and Unilever also earning high marks. ( Just Style /  CHRB)
*NOTICE: Just Style article requires a paid subscription

United States
A pair of widely-used ethical down standards have announced plans to merge into a single standard. The Responsible Down Standard, facilitated by Textile Exchange, and the Global Traceable Down Standard, facilitated by NSF International, will combine to create a single standard that will foster greater transparency and responsibility in manufacturing. Over 80 apparel brands use these standards. ( Sourcing Journal / NSF)
*NOTICE: Sourcing Journal article requires a free subscription

A new trade group has been formed to support and promote the use and production of alpaca fibers in the United States. In a statement, the U.S. Alpaca Fiber Council (USAFC) says that its goal is to "assist U.S. manufacturers in the production, promotion, and marketability of U.S. alpaca fiber." Alpaca fibers have historically been sought for their soft and luxurious qualities. ( PR Web)

Vietnam
vietnamA representative with Vietnam's Ministry of Labor says that thousands of women workers in the country continue to face workplace discrimination. During a recent address, Nguyen Thi Bich Van told an audience that she believes female workers in Vietnam are still being systematically denied promotions, being paid less than men for the same work, and continue to face harassment. Women reportedly comprise about half of Vietnam's total workforce. ( Vietnam Net)

Officials in Vietnam say they plan to construct a US$255 million water treatment facility aimed at curbing the nation's water shortage by 2020. The recent boom in Vietnam's garment industry has strained the country's natural resources, including water, and the new facility is expected to add to the country's capacity to treat dirty water. ( Sourcing Journal)
*NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription
About WRAP
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with regional offices in Hong Kong, SAR, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, full-time staff in India and Southeast Asia (Thailand and Vietnam), 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  www.wrapcompliance.org .

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