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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews