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!