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."
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews