DAVOS, Switzerland — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron pushed hard for the launch of negotiations on a European Union-U.S. free-trade agreement on Thursday at the World Economic Forum here.
“We urgently need to come to such agreements,” said Merkel, indicating that with the World Trade Organization-sponsored Doha Round of trade talks in limbo, “We have to pin our hopes on bilateral trade agreements, and Germany, I can assure you, will be very proactive in the conclusion of FTA agreements.”
With regard to an EU-U.S. accord, Merkel said in a keynote address to business and world leaders, “We would like to do this with the U.S., as well. I think we need to do this, we can do this and we all will benefit.”
Merkel said, “One of the big engines of growth of the world economy, and for us in Europe, is free trade,” but she also cautioned “there are a lot of protectionist tendencies and we need to do everything we can in order to contain them.”
Cameron also forcefully argued for a transatlantic trade pact.
“Now there is the beginning of negotiations on an EU-U.S. trade agreement,” he said. “A deal…could add over 50 billion pounds to the EU economy alone.”
Cameron pointed out that during his country’s presidency of the G-8 this year “we’re going to push for more openness on trade.”
A group chaired by outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, tasked to explore ways to advance U.S.-EU trade and investment, was established during the November 2011 U.S.-EU summit.
A USTR spokeswoman told WWD, “We know there is a lot of interest in whether we will decide with our colleagues to launch trade negotiations. Our work in that regard is ongoing. We want to take the time to get the substance right.”
A spokesman for the EU trade commissioner said work was “ongoing at this stage.”
Luisa Santos, head of international trade at the European Apparel and Textile Confederation, or Euratex, said, “We are strongly in favor of this agreement. In our sector, duties are still high in the U.S. and being this a price-sensitive market, the elimination of the duties would certainly improve the competitive advantages of EU companies. Moreover, we are also facing some nontariff barriers due to different standards and regulations in the U.S. market, and an agreement that addresses this issue would have a positive impact reducing costs for EU companies.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)