WASHINGTON — The Senate passed legislation granting permanent normal trade relations to Russia on Thursday, which will give U.S. retailers and brands broader access to Russia’s market.
The Senate passed the bill, which also extends PNTR to Moldova, on a 92-4 vote. President Obama has said he will sign the legislation.
“The Senate’s historic bipartisan vote today moves us closer to having our trade with Russia covered by the rules of the World Trade Organization,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. “As a result, American businesses and workers will have better access to the growing Russian market on the same terms as their global competitors, and the United States will have WTO procedures available to help ensure that Russia abides by its commitments. We are eager for America’s businesses and workers to begin to reap the benefits of applying the WTO rules and procedures to our bilateral trade.”
Concerns over human rights abuses stalled the legislation from advancing in Congress, but lawmakers ended up supporting the bill after a measure was added that penalizes Russian officials who were responsible for the beating death in 2009 of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax attorney.
The House had previously approved the measure and once the bill is signed into law, U.S. retailers and apparel brands stand to gain from Russia entering a global rules-bases system and its commitments to lower tariffs on imports and easing of direct investment opportunities. Under the terms of its WTO accession package, Russia agreed to reduce tariffs on some women’s and men’s apparel imports to 15 percent from 20 percent by 2015 and tariffs on textile materials, such as synthetic yarns or cotton fabrics, will be reduced to 8 percent from 10 percent by 2014.
Russia also agreed in its bilateral market access agreement with the U.S. in 2006 to allow foreign distributors to operate as 100 percent foreign-owned enterprises upon its entry into the WTO. The bilateral pact will also allow U.S. distributors to sell most products with “minimal limitations” and provides for direct sales by individual commission agents.
@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)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia