Bangladesh will not push for GSP facility from US any longer
Frustrated over the failure to retain the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) status from the United States, Bangladesh’s Government says there is no hope left for it and there will be no more asking for it. “Bangladesh has fulfilled all the criteria the US has asked for. But even then, they are putting forward one condition after another. In this circumstance, there is no possibility that Bangladesh will retain the GSP facility. We will ask for it no more,” Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said. Speaking to reporters at his Bangladesh Secretariat office on February 28, 2018, the Industries Minister added that Bangladesh will soon graduate to a developing country. Then, there would be no more scope to obtain GSP facility from the US.
Markedly, the US is Bangladesh’s single-biggest apparel export destination. For five years now, the country is trying to retain the GSP facility that was suspended in June 2013 citing serious shortcomings in safety and labour standards in the wake of some major industrial disasters in Bangladesh. “Currently, the Government of Bangladesh almost pays 16.5% duty on apparel export to the US, i.e. about US $
900 million. Even then, it remains Bangladesh’s single biggest export destination with 16.78% of the country’s total exports,” Amu said. Claiming that the withdrawal of US’ GSP facility will do no harm for Bangladesh, the Minister said that Bangladesh is now concentrating on obtaining the GSP Plus facility from the European Union when it graduates into a developing nation in March. Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, second Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BKMEA), told Apparel Online that GSP facility from the US “does not benefit Bangladesh much”.