GENEVA — The U.S., backed by Japan and the European Union, plans to up the stakes at this week’s meeting in Paris of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development ministers by urging major developing countries to agree to drop their tariffs on industrial goods if they want wealthy countries to liberalize trade in agriculture.
The expanding middle-class markets in major developing countries such as India and China have been viewed as lucrative outlets for U.S. textile and apparel exporters. However, high tariff walls have limited penetration of these markets.
“It is politically unsustainable for the U.S. to deliver on meaningful agricultural reform through the elimination of export subsidies and significant reduction in domestic supports…without a significant commercially meaningful result in nonagricultural market access,” the U.S. delegation said in prepared remarks presented last week in advance of the OECD ministerial, which opens today and continues Wednesday.
The U.S. took that strong tone in response to tepid proposals put through by India, Brazil and Argentina. In 2003, global trade in manufactured goods was worth $5.4 trillion.
Newly appointed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Portman is expected to attend the 30-country OECD talks. While not all 148 member nations will be represented at the event, WTO ambassadors said they hope the session will help give the ongoing Doha round of talks a clear political direction.
Last week, WTO director general Supachai Panitchpakdi warned that the current round of talks seems to be bogging down and said, “I have certainly toned down the optimism I had earlier this year. I am not pushing the alarm button now, but my finger is hovering over it.”
A deal to lower tariffs significantly on industrial goods is considered a must by all the leading industrialized powers for the current round, which is scheduled to wrap up next year. Developed nations argue that it’s a fair trade-off in light of the strong concessions on agricultural products that poor nations are demanding.
But many developing countries assert they need extra protection at the border to give domestic industries time and policy space to narrow the competitiveness gap with advanced countries. Agriculture has become a hot-button issue at the WTO and anger by poor countries that their needs weren’t being addressed led to the early collapse of the group’s September 2003 summit it Cancún, Mexico.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews