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US-China trade war benefits Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s garment manufacturers are receiving more work orders from the US. The main impetus has been the US-China trade war. China had already become expensive for US-based clothing retailers. The trade war is further pushing them in the direction of Bangladesh.

Though Vietnam is already benefitting on a massive scale from the US-China trade war, Bangladesh does have the scope to increase gains, especially in the garment business. But first of all the country needs to improve its production capacity.

The value of last year's global garment business also indicates a declining trend for China. Although China remained the largest apparel supplier globally, its share shrank to 34.9 per cent from 36 per cent. Bangladesh’s share increased to 6.5 per cent from 6.4 per cent.

The number will increase further if the US finally scraps the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). Earlier, Chinese garment companies had set up factories in Mexico to avail of the duty privilege under Nafta. But now, apprehending the withdrawal of Nafta, Chinese investors are pulling out from Mexico. Bangladesh has also benefited from lower cotton prices. These decreased ten per cent after China imposed a high duty on the import of the natural fiber from the US.