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.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)