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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bangladesh seeks duty-free US market access amid labour rights focus

During the recent Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) Council meeting, Bangladesh advocated for duty-free and quota-free access for its apparel made from US cotton in the American market. The delegation led by Tapan Kanti Ghosh engaged with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) delegation, headed by Brendan Lynch, on the absence of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for Bangladesh and emphasized the potential advantages for Bangladeshi garment workers if granted.

Discussions also touched on labour rights, with the USTR stressing the need for Bangladesh to improve its labor situation. Recent labor law amendments, including the passing of the Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Bill 2023 that increased maternity leave, were highlighted, with the USTR delegation requesting documentation in English.

Bangladesh also urged the US to diversify imports to include home appliances, leather goods, and medicine while seeking investment and technological support for agricultural development. Safety standards in Bangladesh were addressed, and the US suggested that rigorous implementation of measures could lead to Bangladesh regaining GSP benefits and accessing loans from the US International Development Finance Corporation.

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