GENEVA — A group of 36 African cotton-producing nations warned Thursday that there will be no deal in the Doha trade talks without drastic reductions in trade-distorting cotton subsidies.
Failure to accommodate the concerns of poor African nations contributed to the collapse of the Doha talks in Cancún, Mexico, in September 2003, and the issue has stalled the talks and put the U.S., the world's biggest subsidizer of cotton, on the defensive. Since then, disputes brought to the World Trade Organization by Brazil have found that multibillion-dollar U.S. cotton subsidy plans violate global trade rules.
Ahead of a new round of crucial talks aimed at a breakthrough deal on lower subsidies and tariffs for agricultural and industrial goods, Malloum Bamanga Abbas, Chad's WTO ambassador, speaking on behalf of the African cotton-producing nations, told a negotiating session, "Without a solution on cotton, there will not be a solution to the agriculture negotiations or to the Doha Round," according to senior trade diplomats.
"If there's no solution for cotton, consequently there will be no Doha deal," said a West African envoy, adding that the group is consulting with the U.S. "to get a concrete result."
In July, the chief U.S. agriculture negotiator, Joseph Glauber, rejected a draft proposal by the chairman of the agriculture talks, Ambassador Crawford Falconer of New Zealand, which called for deeper cuts in cotton subsidies compared with other products.
The blueprint reflected the demands of the so-called Cotton Four countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali — and called for reductions in U.S. subsidies of as much as 82 percent, or more than $1.5 billion.
Commenting on the lack of a U.S. counterproposal, a spokeswoman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said, "We are continuing to consult with Congress and stakeholders."
Several African envoys said they had major concerns about the failure of the U.S. to make any counteroffer, while others were confident they will achieve what they want on cotton.
WTO director general Pascal Lamy told delegates that a meeting with ministers last week in Davos, Switzerland, "confirmed to me that this deal is eminently doable and that it must be done."Lamy said the chairman of the agriculture and nonagricultural market access talks "will circulate comprehensive revised modality texts next week," adding: "I am pretty sure that the moment of truth is at hand."
But a former senior U.S. trade official said, "You're not going to see anything move forward until after the U.S. elections."
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye