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."
@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