USITC Report Confirms Trans-Pacific Partnership A Big Footwear Win 
Footwear has a new card to play in the debate for the Trans-Pacific Partnership passage. In one of the most anticipated economic analyses of the trade agreement, the U.S. International Trade Commission released its report Wednesday, highlighting footwear as one of the clear winners.
According to the commission, the U.S. would see an increase in imports from TPP nations by $1.6 billion, or 23.4 percent. The majority of that import increase would come from Vietnam, and at the expense of China, which would see U.S. footwear imports fall by more than $400 million, or 1.3 percent, under TPP.

Footwear Executives Pound Pavement for Obama Trade Deal
The U.S. footwear industry is ramping up a lobbying campaign behind President Obama's Pacific Rim trade agreement.

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers Association (FDRA) and nearly three dozen of its members were canvassing Capitol Hill on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to pass the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which they say will significantly reduce tariffs and create jobs.

"Our message is now is the time to get this thing done," said Matt Priest, FDRA's president, whose group represents more than 120 companies and 250 brands.

"This is really is about American jobs, domestic manufacturing jobs, retail jobs, warehouse jobs and consumers," he said. 

Priest said the group's members span across nearly every congressional district in the country, which he called "advantageous to our effort."

Thanks to the dozens of companies who  
lobbied for TPP with us this week!
It made a huge impact! 

What Are Your Input Costs?
FDRA's Footwear Commodities Report 

This report provides detailed analysis for footwear inputs and other costs impacting the footwear supply chain to help companies better track costs.  It includes oil, shipping, cotton, rubber, and other key data points related to footwear sourcing and production.

A Supply Chain Built to Handle Disruption 
Written by Sara Mayes, President and CEO, Gemini Shippers Group

Often companies measure the effectiveness of their supply chain with a focus on the need to increase velocity while reducing costs. While cost control and speed are important features of great supply chains, a supply chain that offers a true competitive advantage has to be designed to allow the firm to deal with the known and unknown disruptions we face every day.
Today, importers face a host of challenges; uncertain and fickle consumer demand, the threat of supply disruption in both their raw material and ocean transportation, SOLAS weight requirements, the effects of e-commerce and Omni-channel shoppers, a tepid economy and a looming US presidential election.
Challenges like these require Supply Chain managers to build a supply chain nimble enough to deal with change and resilient enough to overcome disruption.
FDRA Sourcing Summit 2016

We invite you to attend the Footwear Sourcing Intelligence Summit July 18th and 19th in New York. On the evening of July 18th, we will have a special networking reception on Wolverine Worldwide's patio deck overlooking midtown NYC. On July 19th, we will have a full day summit at the New York Stock Exchange exploring global footwear sourcing, supply chain and factory compliance issues and trends.  The event features special keynotes from industry executives as well as panels covering specific countries featuring industry directors and experts.

BSI: China Factory Protest Data and Analysis 
Social Unrest in China - Impacts on the Footwear Industry

Labor strikes and protests have increased significantly in the past year, due to compensation, wage withholding, disputes over benefits, and factory relocation. BSI rates the threat of social unrest in China as Elevated.

Although footwear factories accounted for only 6.2% of labor strikes in 2015, they tend to involve larger numbers of workers, with several strikes seeing over 1,000 workers participate. To learn more about social unrest in China, please click on the link below.

A Chinese Manufacturer's Crazy-high Offer for a German Robot Maker Might Not be so Crazy

Midea Group became one of China's top companies-and broke into the Fortune 500 last year-by relying on low-paid workers to build washing machines, air conditioners, and other household appliances. Based in the Guangdong province, the region known as the "world's factory," it has over 100,000 employees.

But for future operations, it has its eyes on robots. Today (May 18) the company disclosed a takeover bid for Kuka, a maker of industrial robots based in Germany. The cash offer values Kuka at $5.2 billion and would allow Midea to become its largest shareholder.

Port of Long Beach Ready For Panama Canal Challenge Geography, Modernization Program Key to Value Proposition
written by Jon Slangerup, CEO, Port of Long Beach

  It's a question I hear a lot as CEO of the Port of Long Beach: Are we worried about the expanded Panama Canal taking our business?
The short answer is no. You see, for all the work we put into making sure our facilities are modernizing - and we're in the middle of a $4 billion capital improvement program to do just that - we also have a natural asset that makes us a great value for our customers in Asia. I'm talking about geography.
A typical shipment sent from the Far East to Chicago via Long Beach arrives as many as 11 days sooner than if it's routed through the Panama Canal. When it comes to cargo sent through the Suez Canal to the U.S. East Coast, we have a 17-day advantage.

Footwear Import Data (Total Volume and Price) 
With the government recently reporting new data, FDRA has produced its monthly Footwear Import Data Reports. 

After climbing nine of the previous ten months, US footwear imports plunged year-over-year in March, both on a volume and value basis, off -40.6% and -34.0%, respectively.  In fact, after surging yr/yr in February, the March declines are the steepest in more than two decades, echoing my view last month that the lofty YTD import growth was unsustainably high.  Following these tumbles, year-to-date imports now are off -5.7% in volume terms and off -5.2% in dollar terms from the same first three months of 2015.

While most key suppliers saw declines in this latest month, garment imports from largest-supplier China plunged -48.3% in value terms, also the steepest in more than two decades.  This caused YTD shipments from China to fade -13.6%, while the other top-five suppliers are up a combined 9.5%, implying China continues to lose share in 2016.

China still remains--by far--the dominant supplier, but its $ share of YTD US footwear imports in 2016 is just 59.8%, on track to recede to the lowest annual share in seventeen years.  Other key suppliers Vietnam, the DR, Cambodia, and India continue to enjoy year-over-year growth so far in 2016 and continue to take share from China again this year, an extension of the persistent trend.  In fact, note on the Total Footwear PDF that YTD rubber/fabric footwear from Vietnam is now comparable to the volume from China.

The retrenchment in March footwear imports was broad-based, causing YTD amounts of different categories to slow sharply or growth even to turn negative.  In dollar terms, children's YTD footwear imports are off -3.6%, while bootwear imports are -12.1% lower.  YTD imports of athletic footwear are still expanding, albeit by a modest 1.0%. Shipments from Vietnam are up at least 7.2% in all three categories, suggesting this large supplier is growing relatively larger versus its competitors, extending the ongoing trend discussed for some time.

Much of this unusually sharp drop is due to the March 2015 spike in imports following the February 2015 end of the West Coast port strike.  But even ignoring the yr/yr drop, the March 2016 volume marks the lowest March in five years, suggesting other factors are at play.
Athletic Footwear Import Data 
Boot Import Data 
Children's Footwear Import Data 
The Advantages of an e-Learning Program for Trade Compliance 
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 | 2:00PM - 3:00PM EDT

Amber Road's new e-Learning program supports ongoing training, with a reasonable care approach for training and testing your key personnel who are critical to safeguarding your firm's global risk and reducing the possibilities of non-compliance. During this webinar, Jean-Pierre Geronimi, Director of Amber Road's Trade Advisory Practice will review how Amber Road's e-Learning Courses provide:
  • Fundamental and advanced training programs that suit the needs of your purchasing, supply chain, accounting, HR, import, and export groups 
  • Comprehensive training matrix to advance all levels of your organization
Bonus Takeaway: All FDRA Members will receive a 20% discount on a 12-month subscription to Amber Road's Global Trade Academy e-Learning platform and courses after attending the webinar.

Sponsored by
Port of Long Beach 


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