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.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)