GENEVA — Trading partners praised the European Union in a World Trade Organization forum for maintaining an open trade and investment regime, despite the financial and sovereign debt crises in some member states.
But, led by China, the EU was also faulted for resorting to targeted abuse of trade remedies, such as antidumping investigations, in order to shield problematic sectors from international competition.
“The fact there has not been a retreat into protectionism is in itself a positive sign,” said a report compiled by the WTO on the EU’s trade regime, which was reviewed by WTO members during a two-day forum that ended on Friday.
Peter Balas, the EU’s deputy director-general for trade, said the 28-country bloc represents about 17 percent of world trade in goods and more than 25 percent in commercial services, and has maintained a key role in global investment flows.
“All this despite the financial crisis and its unprecedented impact on the EU,” Balas said. “We remain open and are committed to remain open.”
Michael Punke, deputy U.S. Trade Representative, said the U.S. “values its trade and economic relationship with the EU immensely,” and noted that each day goods and services worth nearly $3 billion are traded across the Atlantic, or more than $9 million every five minutes.
During the proceedings, China and other delegations raised their objections about the heavy use of antidumping measures. Under global trade rules, dumping occurs when an exporter sells goods abroad at a lower price than they trade for in the home market or at below cost.
“We have serious concerns that the Chinese products are always a major target,” said Yi Xiaozhun, China’s WTO ambassador. “According to our calculations, the measures targeted at Chinese products account for more than 40 percent of the total measures imposed from 2008 to 2012. China is firmly opposed to abuse of trade remedy measures as a form of a handy trade protectionist tool.”
The WTO report notes that in 2012, the EU imposed 102 antidumping measures that included 48 against Chinese products, seven against India, four against Indonesia and two against the U.S.
Sources said in a closed-door session, a senior Chinese trade diplomat, Huang Rengang, and the EU’s Balas had a “hard, robust exchange” over antidumping, which Brussels maintains are initiated following complaints by industry.
In 2012, the EU’s merchandise exports were $2.1 trillion, or the same as the year before, and its imports reached $2.3 trillion, down 4 percent, according to WTO statistics.
The WTO report also shows that the EU, a major textiles and apparel exporter, imposes higher tariffs on imports of textiles and apparel. In 2012, for 850 textile category tariffs averaged 6.6 percent and 341 apparel line tariffs averaged 11.6 percent, compared with the 4.4 percent average rate for all industrial goods.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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