WASHINGTON — The U.S. and European Union launched free-trade agreement talks here on Monday as the world’s two biggest trading blocs hunkered down to try to overcome long-standing differences to create billions of dollars in new two-way trade.
The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has major implications for imports and exports of fashion goods. In addition, one new trade dispute involving U.S. jeans makers selling to the European market could create some initial friction as the two sides meet this week. In fact, there had been talk of a postponement following the NSA leaks in the U.S.
“In TTIP, we have the opportunity to accomplish something very significant for our economies, for our relationship and for the global trading system as a whole,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “We have an opportunity to spur growth and to generate significant increases in the already substantial number of jobs supported by trans-Atlantic trade and investment.”
President Obama has said the U.S.-EU relationship is already the largest in the world, amounting to about $1 trillion in annual trade in goods and services, and British Prime Minister David Cameron has said the free-trade deal could add as much as $157 billion to the EU economy, about $126 billion to the U.S. economy and as much as $133 billion to the rest of the world.
But the two sides will confront several thorny issues, including agricultural subsidies on both sides.
“We go into this exercise with eyes wide open,” Froman said. “We know there will be challenges. But we also know that there is strong political will at the highest levels on both sides of the Atlantic determined to stay focused and get this done on one tank of gas. I have every confidence that we can achieve this goal.”
Many apparel brands are also hopeful a trade dispute between the U.S. and EU will be resolved. At the end of April, the EU more than tripled the tariff on U.S.-made women’s and girls’ cotton denim jeans to 38 percent, in retaliation for not resolving a World Trade Organization case the EU won against the U.S. in 2005.
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion