Bilateral trade in goods between Bangladesh and the United States declined slightly in the last calendar year. Both imports from Bangladesh to the US and exports from the US to Bangladesh declined in 2016. Bangladesh has long been urging the US to allow it tariff-free market access.
The US has already granted unilateral tariff-free market access to African and Caribbean less developed countries. Only Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal and a few other Asia-Pacific less developed countries are yet to get the access. Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the United States dropped marginally last year, by 1.8 per cent, compared to 2015.
In fact, except Vietnam, all the top 10 apparel exporting countries faced a downward trend in exports last year to the US. Apparel exports from Vietnam registered a modest 2.3 per cent growth. Export from China, the top apparel source of the US, declined by 8.38 per cent. Indonesia, the fourth largest apparel exporter to the US market, faced a 4.68 per cent decline, followed by Honduras which suffered a 4.47 per cent fall in apparel exports. Apparel exports from India to the US declined marginally by 0.69 per cent while Cambodia faced a 13.63 per cent decline last year.