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US does not renew GSP for Bangladesh

The US hasn’t renewed the GSP facility for Bangladesh. The reason is that the US wants Bangladesh to make more progress regarding freedom of association, workers’ rights and safety, and protection of labor leaders from violence.

The US terminated the GSP trading arrangement following the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013. After the suspension of the Generalised Systems of Preferences scheme, Bangladesh signed up for a 16-point action plan to get it back. Bangladesh's main export item to the US, apparel, is excluded from GSP. Bangladesh's apparel exports are subjected to a 15.62 per cent duty upon entry to the US whereas the duty for other countries is much lower.

The GSP is a US trade initiative designed to stimulate growth in emerging economies. This is achieved by offering duty free exports. Bangladesh was confident significant progress had been made regarding workplace safety and workers’ rights. It tried convincing US decision makers that any previous worries should no longer prevent new trading ventures being created.

The US remains Bangladesh’s largest export market, with bilateral trade said to have reached a new high of $7.2 billion in the 2017 financial year. Bangladesh's exports to the US have doubled in the last ten years.