WASHINGTON — The Senate overwhelmingly passed a free trade agreement with Peru Tuesday and sent the first trade agreement of the year to President Bush's desk for his signature.
The trade accord with Peru, which the Senate passed on a vote of 77-18, would make duty free benefits permanent and provide certainty to companies manufacturing apparel in Peru.
Apparel importers brought in $857.6 million worth of apparel and textiles from Peru for the year ended Sept. 30, under a U.S. trade program that provides a duty free advantage to companies making apparel in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, but Congress must vote to renew that program periodically.
Importers are also pressing Congress to pass a more permanent trade pact with Colombia, but there is strong opposition to it and Democratic leaders have said they will push it off until next year.
The textile industry remained divided over Peru, which represents a small market for U.S. producers that exported $24 million worth of fabrics and yarns to the country in the last 12 months.
Senate leaders moved ahead with the vote on Peru despite some opposition from organized labor and a group of Democrats, including freshmen, who were elected on platforms to minimize the impact of international trade on companies and workers in their states.
Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, whose panel shepherded the Peru accord to the floor, said it represents a new model with stronger labor and environmental protections. Baucus and House leaders reached an agreement with the Bush administration in May to strengthen workers' rights and environmental standards in the Peru deal, as well as in pending trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
"Some may criticize this agreement as not going far enough," said Baucus during his floor speech Tuesday. "But these [stronger and enforceable labor and environmental] provisions are, in fact, exactly what many of us in Congress and in the labor and environmental movements have been seeking to include in trade agreements for decades."
Baucus drew the line on moving other free trade deals, however, noting that Congress must pass an overhaul of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which gives aid to workers who lose their jobs because of foreign competition, before taking up the other three pending trade deals.Democrats who opposed the Peru pact argued on the Senate floor for trade deals to be put on hold until issues with China's trade and currency policies are addressed and the record trade deficit with that country is narrowed. The House passed the trade agreement last month.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty