Fashion World updates

WTO Predicts Weak Growth for Trade in 2019

Women's Wear Daily -

GENEVA — World trade volume in goods will grow by a weak 2.6 percent in 2019, down from 3 percent in 2018, largely due to rising trade tensions between the United States and China, a range of tariff hikes, and increased economic uncertainty, the World Trade Organization said Tuesday. “Trade cannot play its full role in driving growth when we see such high levels of uncertainty. It is increasingly urgent that we resolve tensions and focus on charting a positive path forward for global trade,” said Roberto Azevêdo, WTO director-general. The WTO chief said “greater uncertainty means definitely lower levels of investment and consumption. Investment, in particular, has a pronounced impact on trade…continued uncertainty would continue to lower investment, and if you lower investment, you will depress trade figures.” Asked about the effects of a trade war, Azevêdo said “the whole world loses,” and noted the net effect for the world economy and for consumers “is negative across the board.” In 2018, the value of global trade in goods rose by 10 percent to $19.48 trillion, with China delivering a 10 percent increase to $2.48 trillion, followed by the U.S. with an 8 percent increase to $1.66 trillion and Germany with an 8 percent

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Blackstone Disputes Labor Rights Activists’ Call to Pay Factory Workers $10.8M

Women's Wear Daily -

Four years after two Jaba Garmindo factories abruptly closed in Indonesia, displacing 4,000 workers, a group of labor activists is calling upon the Blackstone Group, which at one time controlled a sportswear label that was among the companies that produced goods there, to compensate the former employees $10.8 million in unpaid and severance wages. Jack Wolfskin was the German outdoor brand that Blackstone previously controlled that was among the labels making products there. The International Labor Rights Forum, AFL-CIO, United Students Against Sweatshops, and Global Labor Justice put the word out Tuesday morning, claiming that the total amount reflects what is owed to the displaced workers. A Blackstone spokesman said Tuesday, “While we are sympathetic to the situation of these workers, this factory was owned by a third party — not Jack Wolfskin. Furthermore, Blackstone no longer has any investment in Jack Wolfskin.” In addition to Uniqlo and Jack Wolfskin, a Workplace Relations Commission report from December 2018 noted that s.Oliver and Gerry Weber produced knitwear and apparel there before Jaba Garmindo went bankrupt. Press also indicated that Jaba Garmindo supplied apparel to H&M, the report stated. Asked about that Tuesday, a WRC spokeswoman said, “We were not able to confirm that there

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