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.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.