WASHINGTON — Having caught their breath following this summer's fight to pass the Central American Free Trade Agreement, politicians are picking up the drumbeat again.
"We've got to move beyond the inward-looking mentality that opposes greater cooperation and ignores where our competition will be in 10 or 15 years," Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Tuesday, noting that countries such as China and South Korea also are trying to become more competitive global players through free-trade pacts.
Key to the Bush administration's trade agenda, CAFTA squeaked through the House in July amid strong resistance from some domestic textile producers. The pact reduces trade barriers between the U.S., Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, and potentially Nicaragua and Costa Rica when those countries approve it.
"Our driving objective should be to make the flow of commerce within the Americas both safe and seamless," said Gutierrez, addressing a meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America.
The two-day meeting that ended Tuesday also offered Congressional views on the future of trade from Reps. James Moran (D., Va.) and Kevin Brady (R., Tex.).
Brady saw the passage of CAFTA as boding well for further trade initiatives, including the 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas and the negotiations within the World Trade Organization that aim to eliminate global tariffs.
"DR-Cafta was not the end," he said. "It's the beginning, I think a catalyst, for more trade and better and open markets."
As negotiators sit down for a 12th round of talks for a free-trade agreement with Andean nations in Colombia this week, Moran — one of the 15 Democrats to vote for CAFTA — said an agreement for the western hemisphere should be the ultimate objective.
"Trade is not as much any more about policy in the United States as it is about politics," he said. "I don't think that the longer-term outlook, at least for the next three years, is very encouraging."
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)