Less than a week after leaving the Middle East without securing a cease-fire, John Kerry indulged in a little retail therapy while on an official visit to India. The Secretary of State purchased three rugs while touring a market in New Delhi ahead of trade talks.
Kerry ...was guided through the first floor of the Central Cottage Industries Emporium where goods on sale included sandalwood carvings, miniature rice art and painted marble. On the second floor he found a rug store whose proprietor showed him silk rugs as well as wool. After much admiration of several different items, Kerry opted to purchase three dhurrie rugs including one from the Kashmir region. The Secretary of State arrived India, hopeful of persuading leaders there to sign a World Trade Organization deal that would liberalize global commerce.
[Comment: Over the last twenty years much has been made (and rightly so) of the issue of child labor in the production of oriental rugs. Much has been done by cooperative efforts of the rug producing nations, rug manufacturers, and humanitarian organizations to correct the problem wherever it is found in the industry.
The fact that the Secretary of State of the United States of America was able to make a public display of the purchase of several rugs during his diplomatic mission demonstrates that measures taken have been successful, and trade in rugs can be conducted in good conscience.]