GENEVA — At a World Trade Organization forum here, the U.S. came under heavy pressure from other major countries over the continuing slide of the dollar, the maintenance of high tariffs in sectors such as textiles and apparel and the plan for scanning all U.S.-bound container cargo.
The recent $289 billion U.S. farm bill and failure to implement global rulings to scrap trade-distorting cotton subsidies also came under fire from the countries, which included China, the European Union members, Brazil and India.
China, having taken heat from Washington for years over what critics claim is an undervalued currency, hit the U.S. over the "continuous depreciation" of the dollar. Sun Zhenyu, China's WTO ambassador, said China hopes the U.S. "could take quick and targeted actions to stabilize the dollar" during a two-day review of U.S. trade policy that ended Wednesday.
David Shark, deputy head of the U.S. delegation to the WTO, countered that "the United States, unlike China, pursues a policy in which the exchange value of the U.S. dollar is wholly determined by the market."
Eckart Guth, the EU's WTO ambassador, said, "There are worrying signs of growing protectionism in a number of areas. This worrying tendency testifies that U.S. trade policy remains captured by special interest groups."
Brazil's ambassador, Clodoaldo Hugueney, said, "Political rhetoric in favor of protectionism in trade and foreign investment is worrisome," and stressed the U.S. has been slow and at times reluctant to implement some WTO panel rulings, like the one on cotton.
India's ambassador, Ujal Singh Bhatia, said a major concern for his country is that the U.S. retains a number of high duties and peak tariffs in areas of interest for its exporters.
"In textiles, tariff peaks range from 32 percent for some clothing, 25 percent for fabrics and 13.2 percent for yarns," Bhatia said.
A report by the WTO on the U.S. trade regime said the average applied tariff for industrial goods in 2007 was 4 percent and for agricultural products was 8.9 percent.
Peter Allgeier, deputy U.S. Trade Rep-resentative, told trade envoys the U.S. remains "firm in our belief in the value of open markets, freer trade and a rules-based international trading system as organized under the WTO." He stressed the openness of the U.S. economy and noted U.S. goods and services imports in 2007 were valued at $2.35 trillion, which he said translates into about $4 million a minute.Allgeier said the U.S. "was the destination for nearly 23 percent of world goods exports in 2006" and remains "the world's largest importer and exporter and a major engine of global economic growth," adding that nearly 70 percent of all U.S. imports in 2007 entered duty free.
The U.S. delegation was also drilled over the container scanning plan adopted last year and in the process of being implemented. Hong Kong said it supports initiatives aimed at enhancing global security, but pointed out that as one of the busiest container ports in the world it's concerned that any initiatives in this domain "should not impede trade or the smooth operation of the port."
Shark said the U.S. border security measures "are absolutely essential to deal with the terrorist threats" and "can be developed and refined so as to minimize delays at the border or even reduce such delays."
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion