WASHINGTON — After years of delays and legal challenges, the U.S.-Mexico border is slated to be open "soon" to two-way commercial truck traffic, stipulated eight years ago in NAFTA, according to a Department of Transportation...
WASHINGTON — After years of delays and legal challenges, the U.S.-Mexico border is slated to be open "soon" to two-way commercial truck traffic, stipulated eight years ago in NAFTA, according to a Department of Transportation official.
Meanwhile, in other cross-border trucking news, the Mexican government has opened seven more border crossings to U.S. textile and apparel truck shipments, bringing the total to 13. Last August, the Mexicans limited these shipments to six of the 27 commercial land crossings, in an unexpected move designed to curb transshipment of non-North American textiles and apparel.
The longer-standing trucking headache — the U.S. ban on Mexican trucks traveling freely throughout the country — is expected to be lifted by yearend or sooner, according to a DOT official.
President Bush decided last year to allow Mexican trucks to make deliveries in the U.S. if they are certified by the DOT as meeting American safety rules. Once the ban is lifted, Mexican officials have said they’ll allow U.S. trucks to ferry goods into their country.
Now, trucks must unload their trailers within a 20-mile zone in either country to be picked up by a carrier from the destination country. This process has added more than a day of transit time.
The added time is a factor not only for U.S.-bound imports — Mexico is the largest foreign apparel supplier with 13.6 percent of the market — but also for southbound goods. Last year, U.S. apparel makers trucked $1.98 billion in goods to Mexico. In addition, U.S. textile mills trucked $3.26 billion worth of goods to be made in Mexico into apparel for U.S. stores.
A DOT official, who declined to be named, said an exact date hasn’t been set for the U.S. to lift its Mexican truck ban, but said the "commitment is clearly there" for the border opening before yearend. Earlier, DOT officials said they expected the border to be open this summer.
The agency’s Office of Inspector General in June submitted a report to Congress saying new safety checkpoints and procedures at the U.S. border are almost complete. Submission of a positive report was one of the last hurdles to overcome before opening the border’s 27 commercial border crossings.Opening the border has met with resistance by the Teamsters Union, as well as consumer and environmental groups, which still have an outstanding legal challenge regarding truck emissions. The case isn’t scheduled to be heard until October in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif.
Meanwhile, even with the Mexican government opening more border crossings to U.S. textile and apparel traffic, there are delays. Shipments to border factories called maquiladoras are exempt from restrictions.
Stephen Lamar, vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said even though cut apparel pieces are supposed to be excluded under the Mexican policy, they’re being included. He said it’s common for these shipments to be rerouted to crossings deemed permissible, including the ports of Cancun and Veracruz and the airports of Chihuahua, Mazatlan and Mexico City.
"There is so much confusion," Lamar said. "The more you crimp the ability to move goods back and forth, the more likely people are to look for other alternatives."
The land points of entry in Mexico now open to apparel and textile shipments are Altamira, Ciudad Hidalgo, Ciudad Juarez, Ciudad Reynosa, Colombia, Tree, Matamoros, Manzanillo, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Progress, Tijuana, Toluca.
Furthermore, Lamar lamented some of the busiest commercial entry points, like Aguas Calientes, Piedras Negras and Monterrey, remain closed to apparel shipments.
Meanwhile, Charles Bremer, vice president of international trade at the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, said the entry closures haven’t disrupted textile shipments.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)