AAFA lauds infrastructure bill, seeks supply chain resolution
Posted November 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On November 15, American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) President and CEO Steve Lamar emphasized the critical need for comprehensive improvements to the nation's infrastructure following the signing of the Biden administration's infrastructure package.
"The shipping crisis has shown that our transportation infrastructure is overloaded and under-developed," said Lamar. "As a nation, we need to make critical investments to our ports, roads, rail and bridges today, so we can avoid a repeat of this in the future.
"In addition to preventing future crises, we must do more to fix today's shipping crisis. It is critical that all stakeholders come to the table to discuss and resolve the inefficiencies that exist in our current system and develop creative solutions to these problems, including long-term investments and better enforcement of the laws that are currently on the books.
"We are pleased to see that this legislation enacts the 'Make PPE in America Act,' an important measure introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to provide strong demand signals and well-crafted procurement requirements to establish long-term opportunities for U.S. domestic PPE production."
The legislation includes the AAFA-supported, and long sought, pilot program to enable 18-to-20 year-olds to join the trucker workforce under the DRIVE Safe Act. This provision will help the U.S. begin to safely address the critical shortage of truckers. The American Trucking Associations reported that currently there is a record shortage of 80,000 truck drivers in the United States.
AAFA has been highlighting the damage the global supply chain crisis has had on the apparel and footwear industry for several months, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach ahead of the critical holiday shopping season. Most recently, AAFA sent detailed comments to the Department of Transportation outlining the challenges that are disrupting the industry.