Bangladesh OK’s U.S. Embargo Deal Releasing Trousers
WASHINGTON — Bangladesh has accepted the U.S. offer to allow the entry of up to 175,230 dozen pairs of cotton trousers that were embargoed at the end of July, with a penalty of three times the amount next year if the entire amount enters before...
WASHINGTON — Bangladesh has accepted the U.S. offer to allow the entry of up to 175,230 dozen pairs of cotton trousers that were embargoed at the end of July, with a penalty of three times the amount next year if the entire amount enters before yearend, officials confirmed Friday.
Mohammed G. Hussain, commercial counselor at the Bangladeshi Embassy here, said officials estimate they will need to borrow an extra 105,000 to 140,000 dozen pairs, or 3 to 4 percent against the base limit of 3.5 million dozen pairs. The amount would reach 5 percent if all the embargoed goods are let into the country.
Bangladesh overshipped its 3.8 million dozen quota limit for the year by about 5 percent and the cotton pants have been sitting in warehouses since July 26 at a considerable cost to such U.S. retailers as Sears, Target and Wal-Mart.
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements made the offer to the Bangladeshis on Wednesday.
"We wanted to minimize as much as possible the financial costs to importers, exporters and retailers," said Hussain. "If we had not agreed to the proposal, the implication would have been that importers would either have to send the clothes back to Bangladesh or pay to store them in U.S. warehouses until the new quota year on Jan. 1, and that is very expensive."
He said Bangladeshi officials "were never given the idea that the penalty could be so huge." He pointed to two similar cases when the Philippines and Egypt on separate occasions were granted additional quota, but received smaller charges against the following year’s quota.
"We never thought it would be so harsh, but then again we didn’t have a choice," Hussain said, adding he is "grateful" the administration even allowed it.
Michael Hutchinson, director of the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, said the penalty was so stiff because it was an "egregious case of quota mismanagement."
"We wanted to send a message to Bangladesh to get its act together," Hutchinson said. "The other reason is our textile guys are really suffering and we felt we couldn’t go back to the lesser formulas [applied to the Philippines and Egypt]."Hutchinson also pointed to the Bush administration’s pledge to help U.S. textile makers to compete internationally by forcing foreign countries to follow trade agreements.
He claimed textile makers will benefit next year, since Bangladesh’s quota limits could be lower than this year’s due to the penalty. If Bangladesh ships the entire 175,230 dozen, CITA will deduct 525,690 dozen from next year’s quotas.
Hutchinson insisted this was a "one-time shot." He said, "We decided to give them an option and an out because a number of people in the import community are really concerned about economic losses sustained if there was not some kind of flexibility offered."
The problems began in May when the Bangladeshi government found big discrepancies between their quota calculations and a CITA report, according to Hussain. He said the government allocates quota in December for the following year and overallocated it based on its practice of borrowing 15 percent from another quota category for non-cotton vegetable-fiber trousers, such as silk blends and ramie. However, quotas were phased out on that category at the beginning of the year.
Hussain also noted that Bangladesh received unexpected orders from importers who shifted production of cotton trousers out of Madagascar due to civil unrest and into Bangladesh, which contributed to the overproduction of that category. He acknowledged that some business relationships between Bangladeshi makers and U.S. importers have been strained due to the overallocation.
"I think there is already some damage," Hussain said. "Our goal is to repair the damage as soon as possible and we are working in that direction."
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews