US & EU Organic Trade Pact The US and European Union (EU) have signed what is being described as a "historic"
partnership on organic trade after agreeing to recognize each other's organic
certification on a range of products including cotton.
The pact which was signed February 15, means organic goods produced and certified in
Europe or the US can be sold as such in either region, eliminating the double set of
fees, inspections, and paperwork currently required by companies and growers. The new
rules will apply from June 1.
"This agreement comes with a double added value," said Dacian Ciolos, the EU
Commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development.
"On the one hand, organic farmers and food producers will benefit from easier access,
with less bureaucracy and less costs, to both the US and the EU markets, strengthening
the competitiveness of this sector. In addition, it improves transparency on organic
standards, and enhances consumers' confidence and recognition of our organic food and
US deputy agriculture secretary Kathleen Merrigan also expects the partnership to open
new market opportunities for organic farmers and companies on both sides of the
The US and EU are the two largest organic producers in the world with a combined value
or around EUR40bn (US$52bn).
The new rules state all products traded under the partnership must be shipped with an
organic export certificate to show the production location, the organization
that certified the organic product, verify that prohibited substances and methods weren't
used, certify that the terms of the partnership were met, and allow traded products to
The European Commission's Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development
and the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program - which
oversees all US organic products - will both take on key oversight roles.
The most recent figures show the global organic cotton market grew by 20% to an
estimated $5.61bn in 2010 - with forecasts from Textile Exchange projecting growth to
$6.2bn market in 2011 and $7.4bn in 2012.
To Make Waves
The 2nd annual MOMENTUM Conference will take place in Washington DC from March 30th through April 1st, 2012. The conference will be held at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan Airport. MOMENTUM brings together the best people in their fields of the
LGBTQ, sex-work, BDSM and non-monogamous communities. Speakers will discuss ways to bridge the baffling dichotomies our culture creates around sexuality.
Abortion laws, restrictions on gay marriage, abstinence programs, medicalization of sex, fear of pornography and prosecutions for teenage sexting are examples of one side of the spectrum. The discomfort that strives to make us keep our sexuality hidden conflicts with the use of sex — especially the female body — to sell everything from food to cars to “performance enhancing” products.
The opening Keynote Plenary Panel is moderated by the legendary Dr. Carol Queen and features esteemed panelists Bill
Taverner, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Sexuality Education, author and sexuality educator, Dr. Logan
Levkoff, founder and director of the Red Umbrella Project, Audacia Ray, and university professor and Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations, Charlie
Glickman, PhD. Our Closing Plenary features author of the international bestseller Mating in Captivity, Esther
Perel, and journalist, Lara
Riscol. The conference will kick off with an exclusive meet & greet and performance by comic Maria
MOMENTUM is geared toward anyone interested in intelligent conversations about the influence of new media on sexuality. After a sold out first year in 2011, MOMENTUM has expanded its space, presenters and sessions, with over 40 sessions and 60 presenters.
MOMENTUM will cover a wide range of viewpoints on sexuality, and the program is sure to have something of interest to everyone.
Each participant in MOMENTUM will leave the conference with new perspectives, new connections and a plan to carry the MOMENTUM forward into 2012 and beyond.
Pre-registration is required to attend MOMENTUM. Go to momentumcon.com or
For more information, please contact Brian Gross, BSG PR, (818) 340-4422. Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @bsgpr
8/24 CLICK HERE to
watch Risque's Video on YouTube
Trade Pact Between
Korea & US The free trade agreement between the US and South Korea is due to take effect in the
middle of the month, after the two countries this week completed the necessary legal
requirements for the pact to come into force.
"Entry into force of this agreement will open up Korea's $1 trillion economy for
America's workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers while also strengthening our
economic partnership with a key Asia-Pacific ally," said US trade representative Ron
The agreement means that from March 15, US exports of consumer goods and footwear,
hides and skins, and cotton to Korea will become duty-free.
Sneak Peek of CurveNY Chance of ChanceTV hosts the coverage of CurveNY February
Look for more photo and video coverage from CurveNY in upcoming issues of
McPete Sez. Video by NandoVision www.nandovision.com
Purchases LSSM Private equity firm Revolution Capital has bought ribbon manufacturer LSSM and its
subsidiaries from the Mor San Corporation for an undisclosed sum.
LSSM was founded in 1918 and head quartered in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, and includes
a sales and marketing office in Manhattan, New York, a dye house in Allentown,
Pennsylvania and manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Newville, Pennsylvania.
It makes ribbons, bows, ties, straps, webbing and over 500 additional woven,
fabricated materials for more than 1,000 customers worldwide.
"We are proud to acquire a business with such a rich history that services a diverse
and wide customer base," said Cyrus Nikou, Revolution's founding partner. "Our team is
excited to begin the process of driving growth and penetrating further into the
sectors that LSSM serves with its well-established core of product offerings."
Legislation designed to combat global copyright infringement has been referred to the
European Court of Justice to check whether it complies with EU fundamental rights.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is designed to help countries work
together more closely to combat global trade piracy, but has faced mounting protests
across Europe amid fears it amounts to internet censorship.
EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht now says Europe's highest court needs to assess whether
it is incompatible with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms, "such as freedom of
expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of
The pact has been signed by 22 EU member states, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan,
South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US. It has also been passed to
the European Parliament for approval.
"A referral will allow for Europe's top court to independently clarify the legality of
this agreement," De Gucht said.
Fashion Photo Kimama
is wearing J. Valentine 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 email@example.com India in WTO Dispute
with Turkey over Cotton India has initiated dispute proceedings with the World Trade Organization in a
continuing row over “protectionist” measures taken by Turkey over cotton imports.
The country’s request for WTO consultations over the so-called safeguard measures
amounts to a formal initiation of a dispute in the WTO.
The consultations give an opportunity for Turkey and India to discuss the matter and
reach a solution within 60 days, after which India could request a WTO panel to
The WTO said further details would be given in the next few days, but Indian officials
have been quoted as saying that the safeguard measures could affect exports worth
about US$600m a year.
Turkey brought in the measures, which impose additional tariffs on cotton imports, in
2008, out of a desire to protect its own cotton industry from a surge in imports.
The initial measures were enacted for a three-year period, but were renewed and
extended last year.
Pakistan's Tariff Waiver
The recent decision by the World Trade Organization to let the European Union
temporarily lift duties on 75 products from Pakistan - the majority of which are
textiles, apparel, and footwear - has been slammed by a European industry group.
Euratex has been fighting the EU's plans for two years, and says the measure "strongly
undermines the interests of EU textile and clothing industry in favor of one of its
The two-year tariff waiver is intended to help Pakistan recover from massive floods in
2010, and follows initial requests from the EU on in November 2010. The measures will
be in effect from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013, and will apply to products
including cotton yarn and fabrics, jackets, T-shirts, anoraks, trousers, shorts,
nightwear and underwear.
"We cannot talk about emergency measures almost two years after the floods," Euratex
president Alberto Paccanelli points out, adding the EU has already committed to over
EUR423m (US$553.5m) in emergency aid to Pakistan.
"The benefits of this waiver will not go to the populations that suffered with the
floods but to a group of extremely competitive companies some of them with turnovers
in excess of EUR200m," Paccanelli adds.
Under the new rules, customs duties will be exempted on certain products originating
in Pakistan which are imported into the EU. In addition, a tariff preference is given
for certain textiles and clothing, leather and footwear products. But there is also a
tariff rate quota (TRQ) on some products, limiting the amount of exports that are
eligible for duty waivers.
The selected 75 product lines on which the waivers apply amount to almost EUR900m
(US$1.18bn) in import value, accounting for about 27% of EU imports from Pakistan.
The EU is Pakistan's largest trading partner, receiving almost 30% of its exports.
Textiles account for over 70% of total Pakistani shipments to the EU, followed by
leather products at 13%.
This is another point of contention for Paccanelli, who says: "For 15 products
included in the waiver, Pakistan is already above 40% share in extra-EU imports. In
some cases we can almost talk about a monopolistic position since the share is well
The timing of the waiver is also criticized, coming as the EU continues to battle
financial and economic crises and rising unemployment rates.
The EU's request now passes to the WTO General Council for adoption, although Euratex
is calling for it to be rejected.
Pakistan's textile and clothing exports reached a record level of US$13.8bn in the
fiscal year to June 2011, and some industry observers believe the EU proposals will
lift this by up to 1.5% a year.
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