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Dhaka wants US to withdraw duty on RMG made of US cotton

The 6th meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) Council will be held in Washington on December 6. According to the sources of the Ministry of Commerce, in the meeting, Bangladesh is going to officially request the US for duty-free access to its market of Bangladeshi clothing produced from US cotton

Bangladesh-withdraw-duty-GARMENTS-US-cotton
Figure: Bangladesh is going to officially request US for duty-free access to its market of Bangladeshi clothing produced from US cotton in the 6th meeting of TICFA. Courtesy: Collected

Dhaka also plans to urge Washington to reduce the tariff rate on the import of Bangladeshi-made garments as a whole.

According to sources, the United States is interested in increasing cotton exports to Bangladesh, which is why Washington has kept the issue of withdrawing Bangladesh’s imposed cotton fumigation on its agenda for the upcoming TICFA meeting.

In this context, Bangladesh also wants to take the opportunity. It has decided to present a strong proposal to provide a duty-free export facility to the US market for RMG products manufactured in Bangladesh using cotton imported from the United States.

According to sources, the USA is interested in increasing cotton exports to Bangladesh. While Bangladesh is going to officially request US for duty-free access to its market of Bangladeshi clothing produced from US cotton in the 6th meeting of TICFA.

On the other hand, the US side will discuss various issues related to labor rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining, safe and healthy working environment, labor rights in EPZs, child labor and forced labor.

A Bangladesh delegation led by Commerce Ministry Senior Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh will attend the 6th meeting of TICFA where Bangladesh is planning to submit a proposal to receive financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

Bangladesh cannot access $60 billion in US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) funding for private sector energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure and technology projects after the suspension of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits in the US market since June 2013. Its investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights and workers’ rights.

During the meeting, Bangladesh will request the US Food and Drug Administration to facilitate the registration process for Bangladeshi drug products and for US technical assistance in building quality certification infrastructure.

On the other hand, the U.S. side will discuss the provisions of the SEED Act to reduce import duties on tree nuts (walnuts, almonds) in Bangladesh, opportunities for the export of agricultural biotechnology and seeds to Bangladesh, draft data protection law, draft regulations on digital, social media, OTT platforms and other digital systems and intellectual property rights.

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