WASHINGTON — The U.S. and China signed a 10-year framework to cooperate on energy and the environment and launched negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty at the close of the Strategic Economic Dialogue here on Wednesday. But no specific agreements were reached on the key issues of currency policy or intellectual property rights.
During the two days of meetings, part of a series of high-level economic and trade talks between the world powers, the U.S. and China resolved to begin talks on an investment treaty that would extend legal protections to U.S. companies looking to invest in China. The agreement comes after 17 months of exploratory conversations. U.S. officials said it was unlikely that the discussions would be resolved in less than a year.
Leading up to the latest round of meetings, a group of senators, including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, sent a letter urging the Bush administration and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. to continue pressuring China about reforming its currency policy. Critics have asserted that Chinese currency is undervalued and allows Chinese goods into the U.S. at unfairly low prices.
Since June 2005, the Chinese yuan has appreciated 20 percent against the dollar. In his closing remarks, Paulson said the role of currencies in the global economy was discussed during the meeting.
"I welcome the recent increased pace of appreciation of the [yuan] and urge China to continue its move toward greater exchange rate flexibility," Paulson said.
Other developments in the weeks leading up to the talks in Annapolis, Md., included the announcement that China had unveiled a new strategy to address intellectual property rights. The initiative aims to improve protection in China and attract more intellectual resources, said China's vice premier, Wang Qishan.
Protection of intellectual property is a hot-button issue in U.S. business relations with China and was designated a top priority of the talks. The countries agreed during the meeting to intensify cooperation on intellectual property rights protection as soon as possible.
“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