In Brief: Called Out on Cotton… Merchant Out at Mothers Work…
A World Trade Organization compliance panel sided with Brazil on Friday in its complaint that the U.S. failed to fully implement earlier rulings that found its cotton subsidy programs breached global trade rules.
- CALLED OUT ON COTTON: A World Trade Organization compliance panel sided with Brazil on Friday in its complaint that the U.S. failed to fully implement earlier rulings that found its cotton subsidy programs breached global trade rules. A spokeswoman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said that, while the panel's finding are supposed to be confidential, "we can confirm the panel found that the changes made by the United States were insufficient to bring the challenged measures — certain support payments under the 2002 farm bill and export credit guarantees — into conformity with U.S. WTO obligations. We are very disappointed with these results." Brazil and African cotton-producing countries Benin, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso have for years asserted that the U.S. measures distort prices in the global market. A recent draft by Crawford Falconer, the New Zealand chairman of the agriculture talks segment in the Doha Round that calls for U.S. cotton subsidies to be subject to much deeper cuts than other farm commodities, was shot down by U.S. trade officials.
- MERCHANT OUT AT MOTHERS WORK: Mothers Work Inc. said Monday that David Mangini, executive vice president of merchandising, will leave the company to pursue other opportunities. Mangini will assist in the maternity apparel maker's efforts to find a chief merchandising officer, a new position. Last week, Mothers Work posted mixed third-quarter results and lowered its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings guidance below Wall Street's expectations due to an overall weak retail environment and forgiving fashions in women's apparel that allow mothers-to-be to skip maternity stores.
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