American Apparel & Footwear Association President & CEO Juanita D. Duggan strongly criticized the apparent collapse of a multilateral trade agreement in Geneva yesterday. The 160 member World Trade Organization (WTO) was unable to move forward with a landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), when India and several other WTO member countries blocked action to implement the deal.
Reached at a Ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia last December, the TFA would have reduced trade barriers and eliminated border transaction costs that hinder many routine international trade flows. A recent study by the World Economic Forum estimated that, when fully implemented, the TFA would stimulate the world economy by one trillion dollars.
"Not only does failure in Geneva dramatically damage the WTO," noted Duggan, "but it also removes one trillion dollars from the world economy, including the same countries that blocked the landmark deal. Trade ministers from around the world should save the TFA talks immediately."
Apparel and footwear are some of the most heavily traded consumer goods on the planet. The clothing and shoe industry require sophisticated global supply chains so that today's fashions make their way to consumers all over the world. Reducing barriers helps keep fashion affordable.