WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk unveiled a new agency initiative on Monday to help small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.
The goal of the program is to assist companies in boosting their exports and grow jobs in the U.S., Kirk said. To kick off the effort, USTR formally requested Monday that the International Trade Commission, an independent, quasi-judicial agency responsible for monitoring trade, conduct a study of small and medium-sized businesses.
“Part of the reason we’re undertaking this initiative is, frankly, there’s a lot that we don’t know about these small businesses, their nature, whether they’re exporting to a single country and what we can do to assist them,” Kirk said. “We want to close that knowledge gap so that we can be of better service.”
USTR asked the ITC to generate three reports as part of the requested investigation. The first would be an overview of small and medium businesses’ participation in the U.S. export market and is due in three months. The second, due in nine months, would focus on comparing U.S. companies with those in other countries. The third report would focus on the service sector and is due in 12 months.
USTR will also launch an internal working group to help the agency ensure its policy-making and enforcement efforts better serve smaller business, defined as companies with less than 500 employees.
The information gleaned in the report will help USTR make many decisions about how it works with small and medium-sized businesses, including whether there should be more small business representation on government advisory committees, such as industry trade advisory committees, also known as ITACs, Kirk said. The Obama administration moved to ban lobbyists from participating in ITACs late last month, leaving the makeup of the advisory panels up in the air.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast