French President François Hollande and President Obama said the proposed U.S.-European Union trade accord is important to both countries and they are committed to its successful negotiation despite political hurdles.
At a joint press conference Tuesday, the two leaders also unveiled a new bilateral Economic-Commercial Dialogue.
“We need to get this done because an agreement could increase exports by tens of billions of dollars, support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs both in the U.S. and the European Union, and promote growth on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Obama, referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership launched in July.
Obama said small- and medium-sized companies stand to benefit most from export opportunities the accord can bring about, adding that “it can mean jobs and growth in France and the United States.”
Most experts feel, however, that Obama needs to be granted presidential trade promotion authority to achieve this accord and the more controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries, which is said to be in its final stages of negotiations. TPA allows Congress to only vote up or down on trade pacts, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) recently said he was against granting it to Obama and that it was “not the right time” to bring it up. RELATED STORY: Sen. Harry Reid Speaks Out Against TPA >>
Responding to a question, Hollande said, “I am aware of the debate in Congress. Speed is not of the essence. It would be a good thing, but what is important is that…we negotiate in good faith and move forward as quickly as possible.”
The French president said a U.S.-EU accord would open up markets, remove nontariff barriers, and “we really want to reach this agreement because it will contribute to growth.”
Both presidents noted the importance of greater economic cooperation between the countries as the U.S. Department of Commerce and French Ministry of Economy and Finance have agreed to establish a U.S.-France Economic-Commercial Dialogue to enhance bilateral cooperation and to expand trade and investment. The dialogue aims to identify ways to boost jobs and growth in both countries and to improve competitiveness through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Obama and Hollande said both countries already have strong foreign investments in each other’s economies, and the new agreement is intended to strengthen that. According to a White House fact sheet, France’s foreign direct investment in the U.S. stood at $222 billion at the end of 2012. France is one of the top five sources of jobs created by FDI in the U.S., with American affiliates of French firms employing about 525,000 Americans in 2011 at an average wage of nearly $80,000.
At the same time, the U.S. was the leading job-creating investor in France in 2012, with U.S. FDI stock in France totaling $83 billion. More than 1,240 affiliates of U.S. firms were present in France in 2012, supporting about 440,000 jobs. France was the U.S.’ eighth-largest goods-trading partner in 2013, with U.S. exports to France valued at $32 billion and imports from France totaling $45 billion.
Obama said the alliance with France “has never been stronger,” including working together on global political issues involving Iran and Syria. Hollande said the U.S. economic recovery is “an example to be followed” and serves as a lesson to Europe in promoting innovation.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)