WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Friday the U.S. is standing behind a strict rule of origin for textile and apparel trade in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and 11 countries.
Trade negotiators from all 12 countries — the U.S., Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Peru, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan — are meeting in Brunei through Aug. 30 for the 19th round of trade talks on the TPP pact, which could have a significant impact on billions of dollars in commerce. RELATED STORY: Industry Weighs TPP Risks, Rewards >>
Negotiators in Brunei will try to narrow differences between the countries over a textile rule of origin and tariff phaseout schedule on sensitive imports such as apparel and textiles. 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.
“This has clearly always been one of the most sensitive trade issues in every negotiation, including this one,” Froman said on a conference call with reporters as he returned from a weeklong series of talks in Asia on the TPP. “We’ve made clear that a yarn-forward rule is at the center of our proposal and we are working with the other countries, negotiating with them, around that principle.” He added that there is still work to be done but noted some progress has been made.
Apparel and textile imports to the U.S. from the 11 TPP negotiating countries totaled $15.1 billion for the year ended June 30.
A group of 34 companies sent a letter to Froman on Wednesday asking him to negotiate more flexibilities into the rule of origin. The firms included Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Sears Holdings Corp., J.C. Penney Co., LF USA, Ann Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Macy’s Inc., Gap Inc., Nike Inc., American Eagle Outfitters and Kohl’s Corp.
“Our experience with yarn forward is that, in most cases, it no longer serves as an effective model to support all the various supply chains on which our companies rely,” the companies said in the letter. They also stated, “A flexible rule of origin for apparel products, and immediate and reciprocal duty-free access, are critical for a commercially meaningful agreement, which will help support and grow the three million U.S. jobs created by American retailers, apparel brands, manufacturers and importers, as well as domestic textile and apparel producers.”
@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