President Trump and Trade to Be Discussed at SOURCING at MAGIC

February 6, 2017

In response to the retail fashion industry’s growing concern about how President Trump’s administration may impact global trade and apparel manufacturing, SOURCING at MAGIC will be hosting a special educational seminar, “Post Election: Trump and Trade,” at MAGIC, taking place Feb. 21-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

As one of 13 showfloor categories at the largest biannual U.S. trade show for the global retail fashion industry, SOURCING at MAGIC is dedicated to the global supply chain.

With this segment of the fashion industry potentially facing a host of changes in the coming years, the “Trump” seminar will help shed light on how the new administration could impact various free trade agreements and international trade relationships, and thus, affect the fashion industry.

During this session, panel experts Jon Fee, senior counsel at Alston & Bird and David Spooner, partner at Barnes & Thornburg, will analyze the cause and effect between the supply chain and recent challenges in the global economy, including the elimination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); the continued rise of costs in China and trade issues between the U.S. and China, and Trump’s expressed intentions to renegotiate NAFTA.

In addition, Fee and Spooner will provide insights about what retailers can expect moving into 2017.

“They will definitely be talking about who’s been appointed, what were some of the campaign promises and what has been the action so far,” said Julie Hughes, president of the U.S. Fashion Industry Association and moderator of the session.

She continued, “We’ll also provide guidance on what to expect and what can and can’t be done in terms of the trade agreements unilaterally. There are other regulations the industry cares about, such as immigration or other things that might have an impact on the economy. Travel is pretty important in our industry, too, so we may keep coming back to that, as well.”

While the retail fashion industry has always kept a close eye on the transfer of power from one presidential administration to another, companies are displaying an elevated level of alertness when it comes to this administration in particular, according to Hughes.

“We’re trying to figure out what path the Trump administration will follow because they had so much rhetoric on the campaign trail that was very negative about trade and the global industry, making it sound as if global industries are bad,” Hughes said.

She continued, “Of course for us, whether we talk about design, product development, manufacturing or advertising, pretty much every aspect is really global. And obviously, we’re very focused on how can we share our message with the new administration.”

Besides a question and answer session with the audience, the panel will also cover the importance of advocacy and how retailers should make a point of meeting with their Congressmen and Senators and share their views.

Such lessons can also extend to the trade show industry, which, similar to retail fashion, also relies on global trade, international relations and travel. That’s why now is the time for industries stay engaged, be ready to respond and think beyond the present administration.

“Number one, be active and engaged with your association, which can help bring together the views of the many and share them with officials, Congress and the new administration,” Hughes said. 

She added, “Also, keep in touch with your own representatives more actively and aggressively than maybe you have in the past. Right now, it’s very important for leadership to hear from the broader constituency.”

“Post Election: Trump and Trade” will take place Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. in Room N251 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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