Issue 476 | July 6, 2018
Upcoming Training

July 25-26 
Internal Auditor Course
Shanghai, China

September 13
Factory Fire Safety
Dhaka, Bangladesh

October 9-10
Internal Auditor Course
Shenzhen, China

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

This week, we certified 53 factories in 13 countries:

 Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Pakistan, 
Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Upcoming Events

August 12-15, 2018  
Las Vegas, Nevada

August 20-22, 2018
Toronto, Ontario

The WRAP Blog
Seth Lennon

This Week's Headlines

WRAP President and CEO Avedis Seferian joined a gathering of business and government officials in Armenia to discuss certification conditions, management systems requirements and best practices. Seferian also discussed WRAP's mission with the dignitaries in attendance and illustrated how the practices promoted by WRAP could aid Armenian textile producers in expanding into other markets. ( Public Radio of Armenia

The Bangladeshi government appointed 60 engineers under the jurisdiction of the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) to complete reviews and address remaining safety issues discovered at factories. The RCC, which is the new national monitoring and review agency due to take over the monitoring work from the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, trained the new engineers in cooperation with the International Labour Organization. ( The New Age)

Factory The Bangladeshi government could shut down more than 750 apparel factories if they do not complete safety improvements by December of this year, according to the nation's Department of Labor and Employment. The deadline was announced during the latest meeting of the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity in the Garment Sector of Bangladesh (NTPA). ( Just Style)
This Article Requires A Paid Subscription

Garment workers in Bangladesh proposed an increase in their minimum wage from the current level of 5,300 Taka (U.S. $63) to 16,000 Taka (U.S. $191). This proposal, which was made during a recent National Minimum Wage Board Meeting, enjoys support of multiple trade unions and workers advocacy organizations. Several brands have received letters from organizations like the Clean Clothes Campaign, urging them to support the wage increase. ( Fashion United) 

China The United States has implemented its first round of tariffs totaling U.S. $34 billion; U.S. border officers received the order at 12:01am local time on July 6.  Beijing swiftly responded, calling the move "typical trade bullying" and threatening to retaliate with levies on hundreds of U.S. products, including pork, poultry, soybeans and corn. Analysts fear that a U.S.-China trade war could rattle markets, cripple trade, and undermine ties between the two nations at a time when the administration seeks Beijing's cooperation on North Korea. ( The Washington Post)

China2 The Chinese manufacturing sector felt the effects of rising trade tensions with the United States, evident in weak demand for Chinese made goods for the third consecutive month. While there is optimism within the industry that trade tensions will abate and growth will resume, declining employment numbers and rising inflation have only fueled fears of what could happen should the trade dispute with the United States not be resolved. ( Just Style)
This Article Requires A Paid Subscription

China's Hebei province will soon be the home of seven new industrial clusters along with five garment industrial innovation parks. These clusters will produce a wide spectrum of goods and encourage innovation in production and sourcing techniques with a specific focus towards a consumer-oriented model that favors customization rather than mass production. ( Fibre2Fashion)

European Union 
China proposed an anti-U.S. trade alliance with the European Union during recent high-level talks in Brussels. The proposal, which centered around filing a joint complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) while opening Chinese markets to more EU investment, was rejected by the EU in favor of a more moderate approach focused on, among other things, modernizing the WTO. ( CNBC)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the European Union would make every effort to avoid a trade war with the United States. During her remarks to a joint meeting of the German parliament, Merkel discussed how the global economy relies on cooperation between all nations, and that there is no benefit to any type of trade war. Merkel also asserted that if digital services were included in the figures that are disputed by the United States, there would in fact be a trade surplus between the two parties. ( Associated Press)

Ludhiana-based apparel manufacturers have agreed to set up around 25 units at Dehri-on-Sone, a move that could create around 25,000 jobs for textile workers in Bihar. The agreement between the government and local manufacturers includes the expansion of a local freight corridor to handle additional traffic and concludes intense negotiations that began in 2017. ( The Telegraph of India)

Trade between the United States and nations in sub-Saharan Africa increased 5.8 percent to U.S. $39 billion between 2015 and 2017, according to the United States Trade Representative. Apparel and textiles were some of the key contributors to the rise in trade, with the Africa Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) being cited as the instigator for the increased volume in trade.  ( Sourcing Journal )
This Article Requires A Free Subscription

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a business forum to create a networking platform for Kyrgyzstani garment manufacturers and foreign brands and buyers. The goal of the meeting was to demonstrate state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, supply chain management tools and more to Kyrgyzstani brands looking to break into the international market. ( The Times of Central Asia)

With the election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency of Mexico, there are new hopes that discussions regarding the future of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can move forward. Negotiations regarding the pact had stalled in recent months due to several factors, including missed deadlines and uncertainty surrounding the potential shift within the Mexican political climate. ( The Wall Street Journal)

According to a report from IMC Worldwide, the University of Portsmouth and the International Centre for Research, companies that are involved in Myanmar's apparel production industry need to take a larger role in ensuring the safety and welfare of female factory workers. The report cites how workers constantly fear possible sexual violence on commutes back to their homes, with little support coming from the factories. The report recommended that better workplace codes of conduct and stronger trade unions could help address some of the issues.  ( Just Style )
This Article Requires A Paid Subscription

Romanian factories making clothes for British fashion brands were already struggling with dwindling profit margins, high worker turnover and competition from Asia. However, the uncertainty resulting from Brexit has exacerbated these issues and now many factory owners within the country are wondering how to remain viable moving forward.   

As African governments continue to tighten the controls on imported secondhand clothing, local merchants throughout Rwanda who have made selling secondhand clothes from America and the European Union their livelihood for years are now struggling to stay afloat. While other nations have eased restrictions on the flow of secondhand garments into the country, Rwanda's government continues to hold firm. Meanwhile, Chinese firms have increased the export of their garments into the country in an effort to fill in the gap. ( The Namibian)

South Africa
SAA strike is looming for South Africa's footwear manufacturing industry after a dispute arose between the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) and the Southern African Footwear and Leather Industries Association (SAFLIA).The dispute comes after the employer association and the unions could not reach a settlement after two rounds of negotiations. ( Business Report)

Better Cotton accounted for 14 percent of global cotton production at the end of 2017, a 2 percent increase from the previous year, according to the 2017 annual report of Geneva-based Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). In the 2016-17 season, cotton was produced to the Better Cotton Standard in Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, the U.S., Zambia and Zimbabwe. BCI's retail and brand members doubled the uptake of Better Cotton, year-on-year, for the second straight year, according to the report. ( Sourcing Journal )
This Article Requires A Free Subscription

United Kingdom
UKThe administration of Prime Minster Theresa May is attempting to craft a compromise trade deal with the European Union in order to save her fractured government. May is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to author a trade agreement that will retain some ties with the European Union while keeping the elements in her government pushing for a full departure from the Eurozone at bay. Hypothetically, by collecting tariffs at the border for goods destined for the EU, May believes that the U.K. can craft its own way moving forward on trade. ( Bloomberg)

United States
Harper's Bazaar highlights four emerging brands that are revolutionizing the apparel industry in various ways. These innovations include a focus on sustainable and environmentally sound production methods, fast fashion and monitoring of the supply chain to ensure that ethical sourcing remains a priority. ( Harper's Bazaar

When White Oak Mill closed in 2017, several denim brands who refer to themselves as "Made in the USA" had to figure out how to source their products. There is little momentum towards rebuilding the lost infrastructure despite the fact that there is demand for denim sourced from the United States. For now, denim brands are relying on stocked up materials to maintain legitimate "Made in the USA" labeling, but that distinction could be in doubt once reserves are depleted. ( Sourcing Journal)
This Article Requires A Free Subscription

The National Cotton Council (NCC) voiced concerns regarding what it views as "shortcomings" in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, known popularly as "The Farm Bill." The source of the NCC's discontent is the state of the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program (EAAP). The EAAP aids regions experiencing adverse economic changes such as factory closings, environmental changes or revisions in regulations. The EAAP was eliminated in the version of the Farm Bill voted out of the Senate Agriculture Committee; however, it was restored with a three-year mandate by the vote in the full Senate. The NCC is lobbying for full restoration of the EAAP, viewing it as a means to keep U.S. cotton and textile producers competitive with the rest of the world. ( Sourcing Journal)
This Article Requires A Free Subscription

The garment label has long been viewed as simply a means to determine the make and size of a garment.  However, with the growing attention being paid to sustainability, many brands are seeing it as an opportunity to shed some light on the supply chain. Since the Rana Plaza disaster, there has been growing pressure on brands to pull the curtain back when it comes to apparel sourcing. Several brands are now using the clothing label to illustrate where materials were sourced and the location of final assembly. ( Sourcing Journal)
This Article Requires A Free Subscription

Exenta has launched a new tool that claims to make real-time production monitoring possible for brands. The cloud-based solution is touted to be accessible from anywhere and provides up-to-the-minute visibility into the status of production orders, work-in-progress (WIP), quality and other critical factory floor activities. ( Just Style)
This Article Requires A Paid Subscription

Robotics are becoming more prevalent in the apparel production process, and a debate has emerged on what the impact will be on workforces in developing nations. A study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) hints that apparel and textile workers within Southeast Asia are at the highest risk of job loss due to the entrance of automation. Industry experts believe that the solution is to alter job training in a manner which focuses on giving workers the skills needed to thrive within the increasingly automated environment. ( Just Style)
This Article Requires A Paid Subscription

Vietnam imported 840,000 tons of cotton, worth nearly U.S. $1.6 billion in the first half of this year, posting respective year-on-year increases of 23.7 percent and 25.8 percent, according to its Ministry of Industry and Trade on Monday. In the same six-month period, Vietnam also imported 505,000 tons of yarn, totaling roughly U.S. $1.2 billion, up 17.9 percent in volume and 34.7 percent in value. ( Xinhua)

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