EU Trade Talks Productive Early talks in Washington towards an EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been described
as “very productive” by one of the leading negotiators.
The first week-long round of talks concluded on Friday, with the negotiating groups setting out their respective
approaches and ambitions in 20 different areas covered by the TTIP, the biggest bilateral trade and investment
negotiation ever undertaken.
“It’s been a very productive week,” said EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero.
“We have been striving already for many months to prepare the ground for an ambitious trade and investment deal that
will boost the transatlantic economy, delivering jobs and growth for both European and Americans.
“This week we have been able to take this negotiation to the next step.”
Negotiators also met about 350 stakeholders from academia, trades unions, the private sector and non-governmental
organizations during the week.
The next round of talks is due to take place in Brussels in the week beginning October 7.
The commencement of negotiations follows their official launch last month by President Obama, EC President Jose
Manuel Barroso, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
A glimpse into the March 2013, International Lingerie Show, The Las Vegas
Halloween Show and the famous runway show. For more information go
Video by Nandovision. www.nandovision.com
Fashion Photo Bridgette is wearing
Pink Lipstick Photo by Jerome Hamilton of Studio Time Photography
If you would like more information about Fashion Photo or would like to be included in the McPete Sez Fashion Photo contact Jerome Hamilton at
Studio Time Photography firstname.lastname@example.org
6/24 Dirty Pretty Things Luxury lingerie brand Dirty Pretty Things is proud to
showcase their contemporary new collection for SS14 . The seasonal collection
displays inspiration drawn from the eccentric lifestyles lead by 5 influential glamour muses of the
swinging sixties; Mia, Edie, Vivien, Ava and Brigitte.
These shapers helped form the independent attitude that epitomizes the dirty pretty things woman. This collection
combines both femininity with fiest, an aesthetic that mirrors the design ethos of the
company and the characteristics of clients. Read the entire article on page
4/24 Lawmakers Push for
Strong TPP Textile Rules More than 160 lawmakers have again issued calls for "strong textile rules" in the Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) agreement currently being negotiated by the US and 11 other nations.
Their main concerns center on the "yarn-forward" rule, under which yarn and fabric must be manufactured and
assembled in free-trade partner countries in order to enter the US tariff-free.
However, without the rule, the industry is concerned that China would be able to export apparel more cheaply by
routing its textile products through Vietnam for cutting and sewing, exploiting its
A letter to trade representative Michael Froman, backed by the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and
signed by 166 members of the US House of Representatives, also asks for long tariff phase-outs for sensitive products
to be included in the deal.
Support for the strong textile provisions has more than doubled since 2012 when 76 House members signed a similar
"The breadth of support for this letter indicates that members of Congress are concerned not only about the impact
of textile rules on US producers and workers, but also of the impact on trade preference countries in the Western
Hemisphere and Africa that depend on exports of apparel to the United States for badly needed employment and foreign
exchange," the letter notes.
It adds: "The yarn forward rule has been a success because it ensures that only textile and apparel manufacturers
within a particular free trade region, such as the proposed TPP, get the benefits from the agreement.
"Vietnam is seeking to replace this proven rule with a new one that would allow its state-owned industry to flood the
US market using subsidized Chinese inputs."
The TPP free trade agreement is being discussed between the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Japan is also set to join the talks. The 18th round of negotiations is taking
place in Malaysia.
Earlier this week, Alice Manufacturing CEO Smyth McKissick warned a badly negotiated TPP free trade agreement could
"decimate" the US textile industry.
Submissions Model: Ingrid Photo
information on photographer & model
3/3 China Drives World
Cotton Prices China is projected to hold close to 60% of global cotton
stocks by the end of 2013/14, with the country's stockpiling remaining the main driver of world cotton
The latest data released by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) estimates that China's national
cotton reserve will be around 9m tons at the end of June, but might be down to 8m tons by the end of July. However,
purchases into the reserve will resume in September as the 2013/14 harvest begins.
The Cotlook A Index rose to 96.65 cents per pound around mid-June 2013 before receding to the low 90s cents level
towards the end of the month.
Last month the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased its 2012/13 US export estimate to 3m tons due to
continued strong sales to China, and lowered the estimate of 2013/14 US production to 2.9m tons due to drought in the
The ICAC predicts that China will reduce the area devoted to cotton production as the government has initiated a
series of reforms designed to open the economy to private investment, to speed up
urbanization and growth.
In June, the People's Bank of China said the government was willing to tighten its monetary policy to achieve more
stable economic growth. This new policy has already had an immediate impact on spinners, who are reducing purchases
from the reserve, which requires payment upon delivery, and expanding imports with 90-day letters of credit.
Chinese policy makers have acknowledged the market distortion created by its national cotton reserve
programs, and are planning to experiment with a direct subsidy in Xinjiang. Meanwhile, to stop the decline of
cotton planting in Hebei, farmers were paid a direct subsidy in April this year.
Since 2010/11 world cotton production has exceeded consumption, the ICAC said. While the 2012/13 global ending
stocks are expected to be split evenly between China and the rest of the world, China is projected to hold close to
60% of the global stocks by the end of 2013/14.
EU & Bangladesh Agree
on "Global Sustainability
Compact" The European Union and Bangladesh have concluded a new
"global sustainability compact" to address labor abuses in the Bangladeshi garment industry - with the country at risk
of losing duty-free access to the EU market if it reneges on its commitments.
"What happened in Bangladesh just over two months ago is simply unacceptable," EU trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht
declared July 8, recalling the Rana Plaza building collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 textile workers.
"I want to make it clear that Bangladesh - or for that matter any other least developed country - cannot take for
granted the trade preferences it currently enjoys."
Under the compact, Bangladesh promises to strengthen workers' rights on freedom to
organize trade unions and engage in collective bargaining with management, rights
that are not widely available in the country.
These commitments, which are to apply to export processing zones, will be enshrined in a new
labor law which Bangladesh's parliament is due to approve this month.
Bangladesh has also agreed to assess the building and fire safety of all major export-oriented ready-made garments and
knitwear factories by December and all active export-oriented factories by next June (2014).
In addition, the government will hire 200 additional factory inspectors by the end of 2013 to ensure more
De Gucht said the EU "may consider appropriate action should there be no, or insufficient progress for
The EU currently offers Bangladeshi exporters duty-free and quota-free access through its 'Everything but Arms'
program. While de Gucht indicated these benefits would be at risk from non-compliance, he also stressed that the EU
wanted to avoid any such outcome.
"If we were to suspend Everything but Arms, it would be a terrible disaster for Bangladesh," the EU trade chief
declared. "All of a sudden, millions of people would be jobless [and] those companies would move to other
The United States last month announced it was suspending Bangladesh's duty-free benefits under its
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) because of worker rights violations. However, most Bangladeshi garment exports are
excluded from US GSP benefits anyway, and are subject to import duties ranging between 15% and 32%.
Egyptian Garment Exporters
Reassure Customers Egyptian garment exporters continue to reassure customers
and traders that it is business as usual for the textile and clothing industry, despite an escalation in violence
and a deepening economic crisis in the country.
M Kassem, chairman of Egypt's Ready-Made Garments Export Council, said in an updated statement: "All factories are
working at the normal rates and production and shipping are according to schedule. I can say the same thing about sea
and airports, roads, rails and highways."
The comments come after President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office last week, and Egypt's top judge, Adli
Mansour, was sworn in as interim president - with the moves fuelling violence across the country.
Last week, Kassem said Egypt's political and religious leaders were working on a solution to the political crisis,
with "consensus on a new 'Road Map' with clear milestones to steer the county back to the right course."
Over the past few days, however, the situation has undoubtedly worsened. Demonstrations and sit-ins have been
staged by protesters from both sides of the political divide, Kassem noted, with "millions" taking to the streets
again July 8 in support of the 'Road Map'.
"Ex president supporters led by the MB (Muslim Brotherhood) unfortunately resorted to violence that caused loss of many
lives," Kassem explained.
"The latest and bloodiest incident happened today at dawn when MB members attacked and tried to storm an installation
belongs the presidential guards. Again more lives were lost."
Local media reports estimate that 51 people have been killed during the unrest, with more than 435 people
The death toll is expected to rise further, Kassem noted, with the "low-level violence" set to "continue to claim
lives for [a] few more days".
"As a new interim president is in the process of forming a new government, I expect the first task of this new
government is to restore law and order," he added.
90% of Bangladesh's
Structurally Unsound An expert panel at Bangladesh's leading engineering university has found only one in ten of the country's
garment factory buildings are structurally sound.
The findings were revealed in the preliminary inspection report on 70 ready-made garment units carried out by teams
from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
Just six factories out of the 70 units were found to be in sound condition, while the remaining 64 have "minor
deviations or faults."
Mohammad Mujibur Rahman, head of the panel, said some faults or distress in the buildings are not necessarily
significant. "Fault does not mean unsafe."
However two factories - one a garment factory at Malibag in Dhaka and another a
four-story multi-purpose building in Manikganj that houses a textile unit - have been identified
for immediate shutdown.
Professor Rahman, who also heads the Department of Civil Engineering at the BUET, said the panel found another four
structures are in a critical position, while 88 buildings have various faults including cracks.
"We've advised the owners of four buildings to conduct detailed structural analysis immediately to avoid any
disaster," the panel leader said, adding that they have also asked all building owners to carry out further
detailed analysis in the next three to six months.
The inspection teams checked foundations, support columns and other building structures, as well as the ground on
which they were constructed, as well as documents and plans that could be produced.
Another member of the panel said they have so far received nearly 300 applications from garment factories, residential
buildings, banks, hospitals and some private institutions for inspection. However, some owners are reluctant to have
their buildings checked.
Of the 3,600 operating factories that belong to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association,
60% are housed in buildings shared with other businesses, 10% in converted residential buildings transformed into
factory units, and 30% in purpose-built buildings, according to Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the BGMEA.
Two groups of Western apparel retailers and brands have this week set out separate plans to inspect their supplier
factories in Bangladesh. But without inspecting the entire industry, are their efforts likely to fall short?