Bangladesh is looking for Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) access to the US. By increase its volume of trade to the US with the help of DFQF, Bangladesh feels it would be able to progress further in women’s empowerment and elimination of terrorism.
Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the US, its single largest destination, have declined 1.96 per cent year-on-year. Garments account for 95 per cent of the goods exported from Bangladesh to the US. There is a change in the attitude of US consumers, who now prefer spending more on electronic gadgets compared to clothes.
Bangladesh now faces an export duty of 15.62 per cent under America's most favored nations' category. But apparel exports from Vietnam to the US may face stricter rules as the US has abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Vietnam—one of the major competitors of Bangladesh in the US market—was supposed to enjoy a zero duty benefit as one of the member nations of TPP. After the scrapping of the TPP, the export duty of 8.38 per cent for Vietnam will remain in force. This may ultimately benefit Bangladesh.
Nine out of 10 top apparel exporting nations of the world experienced negative growth in shipment to the US in 2016. Only Vietnam's apparel exports increased 0.30 per cent year-on-year in 2016.