Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On Tuesday morning we started our day meeting with Erin Ennis, the Vice President at the US China Business Council.  The council has over 200 members, including companies like Hanes and Wal-Mart.  It was very interesting to hear the American point of view about businesses expanding into China, as well as their success.  She explained all about the future, existing investments in China, if the businesses in China are profitable, and the top 10 issues that China is trying to resolve. The meeting was interesting as we related it back to the textile industry with cotton as one of our main focuses.

We than quickly made our way back to the Capitol and headed to the Senate Finance Committee room to do a mock mark up of a trade bill!  We had the chance to experience the legislative process as a member of the United States Senate Committee on Finance during an executive session.  Our group was briefed about a fake country called Thaigaire.  We each pretended to be a different Senator as we tried to make recommendations to a pending free trade agreement that the Administration had submitted for congressional approval.  We had actual Senate staff members participating and coaching us throughout the process.  All of us were a bit nervous, but once it started it was an exhililarating experience!  Overall, it was amazing being apart of the mark up because we learned so much that could have never been taught to us in a classroom!

Our next stop was a meeting with Rebecca Kelly Slaughter in Senator Chuck Schumer’s office to discuss the Fashion Piracy Bill.  Rebecca explained to us about problem that was brought to her by the CFDA and designers from the New York area.  For more opinions about the matter, they brought in experts like the AAFA for their thoughts.  It took many years before they finally proposed their first draft of this bill to the Senate.  We discussed the possible protection possibilities, such as what should be protected as well as how should that protection work.  In addition, we went over exactly what the bill fully entails.  Finally, we learned that the bill provides a narrow limited protection for the most creative fashion designs in a manner that is least disruptive to the rest of the industry.   It was amazing to hear from Rebecca how passionate the fashion industry is about this bill, we will all be checking for updates on what happens!

After our meeting with Rebecca we went visit the Newsuem! Go to the Museums section to learn about our visit! We had a great day and we are looking forward to tomorrow!

-Morgan Hyman

Sam Tocker standing infront of her Senator that she played during the Mark-up

Sam Tocker standing infront of her Senator that she played during the Mark-up

Emily Harp standing infront of her Senator that she played during the Mark-up

Emily Harp standing infront of her Senator that she played during the Mark-up

Outside of the US-China Business Council

Outside of the US-China Business Council

Before we started the Mock Mark-Up

Before we started the Mock Mark-Up of a Trade Bill

Mock Mark-Up of the Trade Bill

During the Mock Mark-Up of a Trade Bill

Mock Mark-Up of the Trade Bill

During the Mock Mark-Up of a Trade Bill

Mock Mark-Up of the Trade Bill

During the Mock Mark-Up of a Trade Bill

Mock Mark-Up of the Trade Bill

During the Mock Mark-Up of a Trade Bill

Before the Mock Mark-Up of the Trade Bill

After the Mock Mark-Up of a Trade Bill

Outside the Committee on Finance Room

Outside the Committee on Finance Hearing Room

Outside the Capitol

Outside the U.S. Capitol

Monday 7, 2013

 Touring the U.S. Capitol

The dome of inside the U.S. Capital

The dome of inside the U.S. Capitol

Inside Senator Carper's Office

Inside Senator Carper’s Office

The old U.S. Senate Chamber

The old U.S. Senate Chamber

Standing outside the U.S. Capital

Standing outside the U.S. Capitol

Today was the first full day we had in Washington, DC. Our group had the amazing opportunity to start off the day visiting the U.S. Capitol. On the hill we were able to see Senator Carper’s office located in the Hart building, then traveled on the underground senator subway to the Capitol for a tour. During the tour we were able to learn so much about our country’s history and how the Congress works on a day to day basis. Visiting the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol gave us a first person perspective of how the Senators converse with each other when voting on a bill. It was amazing to think that this is the room where some of our most important bills were voted into action.

Back in Senator Carper’s office we talked with some of the Senator’s staff who works with the CBP (Customers and Borders Protection). They help the fashion industry by working to keep counterfeit goods from crossing our borders. We learned that it is very hard to find those counterfeit goods, but with the new RDIF technology it helps track the products so it is slowly becoming easier spot the non compliant goods. Also, they talked about trade agreements and how the government checks to make sure the countries are following the agreed upon rules and regulations. They do this by sending regulation officers to different countries and going to factories and mills to make sure they are complying. Near the end of the day we talked to Senator Carper’s Chief of Staff, Jim Reilly. He taught us what it was like to run a senate office and about everyone’s responsibilities that make the office run smoothly.

The purpose of our Journey

On January 6, 2013, eight students and one professor from the University of Delaware, Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, set out to learn more about the textile and apparel industry in the United States. Our focus was to investigate how our government impacts the apparel industry and to learn more about the status of textiles and apparel manufacturing in North Carolina.