WASHINGTON — The Bush administration plans to smooth over rough spots in procedures designed to give duty free treatment to some goods under the Central American Free Trade Agreement, even if they include materials from outside the region.
CAFTA, which promotes commerce among the U.S., El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, generally requires that goods be made of native materials. Exceptions may be made when the necessary materials are not sold in commercially viable quantities in the region.
The process to determine commercial availability requires that companies check to determine if suitable producers exist before requesting an exception. However, there are communication problems and concerns that certain importers are not effectively looking for suppliers, while some factories are claiming to be able to meet demand when they actually don't have adequate capacity.
"There have been some frustrations on both sides of the coin," said Matt Priest, chairman of the interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
Since spring 2006, when CAFTA first began to take effect, the administration has found that 19 types of fabrics and fibers qualified for exceptions.
"It provides flexibility to continue to keep business in this hemisphere," Priest said. "If something is truly not made in this region, it makes no sense to not allow them to bring something in duty free and provide some flexibility."
In the next few days, CITA will request public input on how the due diligence requirement can be adjusted to work more smoothly. Specifically, the committee is seeking comments on how businesses conducting due diligence for a commercial availability should communicate: the types of information companies can ask of potential suppliers, whether the companies should supply samples to each other and how products should be identified.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast