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AC-AAFA-CFDA-TGA suggest 7 steps in next US stimulus bill

Sep '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The Accessories Council (AC), the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Travel Goods Association (TGA) recently wrote to Congressional leadership outlining priorities for the industry in the next stimulus bill. They recommended seven provisions to keep the country open and keep Americans working.

They suggested a Payment Protection Programme (PPP) for an additional 16 weeks, with the same or expanded conditions, for those who received PPP loans and are eligible for forgiveness based on employee retention.

A federally-backed short-term facility (or facilities) should be created to backstop the trade credit insurance industry, they said. Such a backstop will enable the thousands of small businesses who depend on trade credit insurance to stay in business and participate in the safe restart of the economy.

They recommended an expansion of the employee retention tax credit so that companies can continue to retain employees and pay their healthcare benefits until more robust consumer spending returns.

The next stimulus package should include legal liability protection related to the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard businesses, schools, healthcare providers and others from unfair lawsuits, they said in a press release.

As companies are finding it difficult to bring workers back during the pandemic, incentives to get Americans back to work would benefit workers and companies alike. The trade bodies expressed their support for the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020.

Retailers are retrofitting stores and offices to accommodate the installation of protective equipment to keep employees and customers safe and healthy, and purchasing significant quantities of PPE. As Congress seeks to ensure that workplaces are safe, the trade bodies recommended tax credits to support these investments that are critical to protecting workers.

They also supported provisions that would provide companies duty drawback for charitable donations. Such provisions would encourage companies that are overwhelmed by excess inventory due to the pandemic to donate merchandise to charity by enabling them to recoup import duties already paid.

At present, duty drawback, or recouping duties already paid, is only available to companies if they destroy the merchandise. Creating such a provision would be a win-win, enabling companies to unlock much-needed funds currently trapped in surplus inventory created by the crisis, while at the same time helping Americans affected by the pandemic with donations of clothes and shoes they need for themselves and their families, they added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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