WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and trade ministers from the 11 other countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord failed Tuesday to strike an anticipated final deal in the latest round of discussions, which will push the talks into next year.
The trade officials said, though, that they made progress on significant, outstanding issues as they wrapped up four days of talks in Singapore.
Froman, who briefed reporters on a call from Singapore, said the TPP ministers “really accomplished an enormous amount across various texts of the TPP agreement by working in a collaborative way to identify potential ‘landing zones’ on a great majority of the outstanding issues. I would describe the outcome of the meeting — great momentum. We’re now focused on building on that momentum.”
The U.S. is in talks with Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore on the TPP trade accord. All 12 ministers said in a joint statement on Tuesday that they will “continue to work with flexibility to finalize these text issues, as well as market access issues” and plan to meet again in January. Froman told reporters that all of the ministers “left feeling very positive about what was accomplished” in Singapore.
“They all recommitted themselves to the highest possible standards…and an ambitious and comprehensive agreement, and felt like the meeting contributed very significantly to that,” he said.
The failure on the part of the negotiators to draft even a framework trade deal underscored the complexities involved on sensitive issues, which include textiles and apparel. The U.S. has proposed a yarn-forward rule of origin that requires apparel be made of fabric and yarns supplied by the U.S. or other TPP partner countries to qualify for duty-free benefits when shipped back to the U.S. Importers oppose the rule, but American textile producers claim they need it to compete.
The U.S. has also proposed a short supply program that allows importers to use third-country fabric and yarns in apparel production if the U.S. determines they are not commercially available in the TPP member countries. Industry sources have said one of the sticking points in the negotiations is a deep division between some of the countries over the textile rule origin.
There is also concern on Capitol Hill over certain provisions that could be included once a final deal is struck. In addition, there appears to be some growing momentum in the House against granting President Obama trade promotion authority, a tool many experts argue he needs to help wrap up negotiations on the TPP pact.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)