WASHINGTON -- Alan Larson, the U.S. State Department undersecretary for economic, business and agricultural affairs, laid the groundwork to extend textile and apparel trade relief to Turkey, as he wrapped up two...
WASHINGTON -- Alan Larson, the U.S. State Department undersecretary for economic, business and agricultural affairs, laid the groundwork to extend textile and apparel trade relief to Turkey, as he wrapped up two days of talks there on Wednesday.
Larson, who was visiting Turkey as part of the Turkish-American Economic Partnership Commission aimed at boosting trade, said a major focus of the discussion was on Turkey's growing textile and apparel exports to the U.S.
"We have tried to determine short- and long-term opportunities regarding economic policies, trade and investment at these meetings," said Ugur Ziyal, Turkey's undersecretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a news conference in Ankara on Wednesday. "We have made a lot of progress to this end+yet we have a lot more work to do."
Larson said the U.S. is aware of the importance of textile exports to the U.S., citing a 150 percent increase in Turkish textile exports to the U.S. since 1995.
"Our focus is on facilitating Turkey's recovery, promoting Turkish economic growth and helping Turkey become competitive as a modern economy in the global economy," said Larson at the same news conference.
In a joint statement, Larson and Ziyal said they made progress in laying the foundation for the establishment of qualified industrial zones in Turkey, like those established by the U.S. in Jordan, which are linked to a free-trade agreement with Israel.
Under a QIZ, Turkey would be able to export certain products, including apparel, duty-free to the U.S. The U.S. would need congressional approval to amend legislation to include Turkey to the QIZ program.
"This is an initiative that we think could create high paying jobs in Turkey and promote both investment in Turkey and exports from Turkey to the United States," Larson said at the news conference.
The other major focus of the discussions was on Turkey's growing textile exports to the U.S., according to the statement. The group agreed to take steps to facilitate Turkey's access to the U.S. market by extending benefits under the Generalize System of Preferences to hand-knit and hand-woven carpet imports. It also agreed to enter into a certified handicraft textile agreement, which will provide GSP benefits for six tariff categories of textiles, though those categories were not identified.Apparel and textile imports from Turkey totaled 870.9 million square equivalents with a value of $1.45 billion in 2001, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The offer of textile and apparel concessions fell short of Turkey's request in January for initiating discussions on a free-trade agreement or a preferential trade pact. As part of any agreement, Turkey is seeking a reduction in tariffs on a number of products, including textiles and apparel.
Reaction from importer and textile trade groups was mixed.
"We cannot go bailout every country in world that cannot manage its economy properly," said Charles Bremer, director of international trade at the American Textile Manufacturers Institute.
Bremer said QIZs are too much to offer to Turkey, though he acknowledged that the extension of GSP benefits to hand-knotted carpets and handicrafts would not have much of an impact.
"Why is Turkey coming to us with a tin cup?" asked Bremer rhetorically. "They can export to the European Union all day long."
Julia Hughes, vice president of international trade at the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel, said any concessions to Turkey are a move in the right direction, though these offers won't "be gangbusters in terms of opening the U.S. market to them.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews