WASHINGTON — Pakistan is maneuvering for more textile and apparel trade breaks.
As the deadline for quota elimination nears and fears mount over China’s potential domination, developing countries are clamoring for something to help them stay competitive, and trade deals with the U.S. are one vehicle.
Humayun Akhtar Khan, Pakistan’s commerce minister, met with high-level Bush administration officials this week to jump-start a preliminary agreement that Pakistan hopes will pave the way for a bilateral free-trade agreement with the U.S. Khan also is seeking more apparel and textile trade breaks in the interim.
His meetings this week are a run-up to a visit planned between President Bush and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf the week of June 23, at which time Pakistan hopes to have an initial framework in place to start bilateral negotiations with the U.S.
Pakistan is one of several developing countries maneuvering to mitigate the impact of apparel and textile quota elimination at the end of 2004. There is a movement among some developing countries, textile and labor groups to extend quotas on countries like China, Pakistan and India beyond 2005 .
Khan, who briefed reporters at a breakfast Tuesday morning, said there are pros and cons to the phaseout of the Multifiber Arrangement, which has governed quotas for decades. But he claimed the issue of quota extension is not currently under discussion or on the agenda in Cancun, Mexico, where trade ministers from 146 countries are scheduled to meet in September in the current round of World Trade Organization global trade talks.
It isn’t the first time Pakistan — a frontline ally of the U.S. in the war on terrorism — has come knocking at the door. In February 2002, the U.S. gave a three-year apparel and textile quota package, valued at roughly $480 million, to Pakistan in exchange for its help in the war in Afghanistan. That deal fell short of the broad menu of trade breaks Pakistan was seeking then.
“Pakistan was offered increased market access of $143 million in the first year,” Khan said. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to benefit in the categories where quotas were enhanced because we have not been able to exhaust the quotas in those categories.”However, for the year ended March 30, apparel and textile imports from Pakistan rose 14.09 percent to 2.55 billion square meters equivalent and represented 6.43 percent of the U.S. import market.
“The benefits that the package gave us [in the first year] were closer to $20 million,” said Khan, who noted he raised the issue with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
Khan said Pakistan is seeking the right to use “intercategory” quota swings, which would mean more flexibility to borrow quota for highly utilized categories.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty