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All eyes on Trump and his proposed border tax

If US president-elect Donald Trump implements his plan of border tax, one of his major campaign promises, exports from Bangladesh, particularly of garment items, will face further tariff in the US market. Here, it may be recalled that during his 17-month presidential campaign, Trump had called for imposing border tax of between 35 and 45 per cent on imports of goods to protect American jobs from unfair foreign competition.

Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute observed that if the proposed border tax is imposed, Bangladesh would be sufferers akin to other countries. The implementation of the proposed border tax would be the one of the worst news for the Asian country as well as for rest of the globe, he added.

Bangladesh's exports, particularly of garment items, would unequivocally be affected if Trump follows through on his campaign promise once he is sworn into office on January 20, according to Mansur. Although most of the attention is still focused on whether Trump will put the tariffs on China or target companies that move production offshore, proposals for a US tax regime that penalises imports could have a more permanent and far-reaching effect, it has been reported.

Frederic Neumann, co-head of economic research at HSBC in Hong Kong feels, it would be a huge issue for Asia. It would also raise the spectre of retaliatory measures by other countries. Since the US does not have adequate number of factories, local manufacturers might not meet the demand. As a result, the US retailers will depend on imported clothing items, particularly from Bangladesh and other Asian countries, which mainly produce the basic apparel items, Mansur claimed.