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.”
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)