MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has again been denied re-admittance to the US trading privilege known as the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), with Washington citing ongoing concerns over the pace of labour market reforms since the Rana Plaza tragedy.
Even though the two countries renewed their economic ties during the fourth meeting of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFAdenied) in Washington, DC, on Thursday, there was no obvious change in the US stance on Bangladesh and the GSP.
The US trade program is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories.
Bangladesh was suspended from the GSP in 2013 as a result of concerns over workers’ rights and safety shortly after the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed over 1,100 people, most of them garment workers.
Even though garment exports are not eligible for duty cuts under the program, the US continues to be Bangladesh’s single largest export destination, with two-way trade hitting $7.2 billion in 2017, reported news agency.