WASHINGTON — A 12th round of talks for the Andean Free Trade Agreement wrapped up in Cartagena, Colombia, last week, with indications a deal could be inked in November with a bit of elbow grease from the negotiators.
November is not a set deadline to complete the regional pact, but is an important milestone, as global trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization pick up in December and Andean elections are held next year that could complicate negotiations.
Key apparel and textile issues still need to be ironed out before the U.S., Peru, Colombia and Ecuador can complete the pact. Bolivia has been observing the talks, but has yet to take part.
"It was, I think, a very good round," said Regina Vargo, assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Americas, during a phone briefing with reporters Tuesday. "We made concrete progress in terms of being able to reach agreement on a number of the chapters."
Forward motion was made in the financial services, technical barriers to trade, transparency and trade remedy areas.
"We still have quite a bit of work to do," said Vargo, who will be meeting with her Andean counterparts in Washington Oct. 19-21. In the meantime, groups of negotiators focusing on separate parts of the agreement will be getting together to move their respective talks ahead, as officials overseeing the agricultural area have been doing.
"Textiles is an area that still has quite a bit of work to do," said Vargo, pointing to market-access concerns such as rule of origin, trade preference levels and cumulation, all of which regulate the content and production of goods.
Progress has been made on some of the more basic textile and apparel areas, such as customs cooperation and safeguards.
Brenda Jacobs, who works with the government of Colombia as an attorney with Sidley Austin, said the agreement is a valuable part of the region's integration.
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)