WASHINGTON — Fashion industry trade groups expressed concern Wednesday about growing momentum in the House against granting President Obama trade promotion authority, a tool many experts argue he needs to help wrap up negotiations on an Asia-Pacific trade pact that is heading into the final stages of negotiation.
The authority, formerly known as “fast track,” which expired in 2007 under then-President George W. Bush, is seen as vital to completing several trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and 11 other countries and the Trans-Atlantic trade deal between the U.S. and European Union. Under TPA, Congress does not have the ability to amend trade pacts negotiated by the executive branch and can only vote up or down on them.
Chief trade negotiators in the TPP talks are set to hold a key negotiating session in Salt Lake City next week and plan to follow that up with what they hope will be a final push at a ministerial level TPP meeting in Singapore in early December. But two separate letters sent to Obama from House Republicans and Democrats, representing a combined 175 lawmakers, opposing TPA in its current form have raised some red flags about the prospects for getting TPP over the finish line this year. RELATED STORY: A New Force — U.S. Fashion Industry Assoc. >>
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the administration is committed to giving Congress “a strong role in determining U.S. trade policy, and one of the best ways they can do that is to pass a law codifying their direction to the Administration for negotiating trade agreements.” Froman added, “We will continue to consult with Congress on the importance of TPA as a longstanding tool for shaping U.S. trade policy on behalf of the American people.”
Julia Hughes, president of the U.S. Fashion Industry Association, said, “It is impossible to conclude a good agreement without TPA in hand. Certainly any agreement could be concluded, but it won’t be the same high standard, 21st-century type of agreement if all sides at the table know that Congress could amend the agreement at any point.”
Nate Herman, vice president of international trade at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said, “We haven’t seen a situation where we were this close to the end game of finalizing a trade agreement and did not have TPA in place. I think if TPP doesn’t close in December as hoped, then a possible long, drawn-out fight over TPA could impact [the trade deal].”
But Auggie Tantillo, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, said: “I don’t buy this nonsense that the other governments are not going to sign a deal [because the U.S. does not have TPA]. The leverage the U.S. has is that it is granting access to 320 million consumers.…That by a factor of 10 is greater than the rest of TPP combined. If that is not enough incentive for them to sign a deal, too bad.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews