Bangladesh expresses worry over US trade bill

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Bangladesh has expressed concern over the US trade bill concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership apprehending that LDCs like Bangladesh would lose their competitive edge in the US market due to preferential treatments to the trans-pacific partners.
Bangladesh ambassador to the United States Mohammad Ziauddin voiced Dhaka’s concern when he met separately US Congressmen Brad Sherman (D-California) and Tom Marino (R- Pennsylvania) at the Capitol Hill on June 15 and 16 respectively, according to message received in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Brad Sherman is the ranking member of the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee and Tom Marino is the chairman of the subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Commercial and Antitrust Law.
During the meetings, ambassador Ziauddin briefed the Congressmen on Bangladesh’s trade relations with the US. He said as an LDC Bangladesh does not receive any special or deferential treatment from the US in terms of trade and commerce.
The ambassador stated that the US is a major destination for Bangladeshi products, mainly the RMG receiving nearly one-fourth of Bangladesh’s total exports. Bangladesh apparels are subjected to high tariff in the USA as opposed to zero tariffs to almost all other least developed countries in the world.
Ziauddin said that around 90 per cent readymade garment workers are women and this huge number of women employment accelerated the process of women empowerment and socio-economic development in Bangladesh.
At this juncture, to encourage the women empowerment and socio-economic growth partner, the US should grant preferential market access (duty free and quota free) for Bangladeshi products as accorded to other developing countries of the Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean and reinstate the GSP facilities for Bangladesh, he said.
Responding to the Congressman Brad Sherman, the ambassador informed that the international community should persuade Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas from the southern part of Bangladesh.
He said Bangladesh cannot afford to host such a large number of refugees inside her territory. He also mentioned that the Burmese Rohingyas are extremely susceptive to the religious extremist groups; there are evidences of using Rohingyas for terrorist activities.
The ambassador briefed the Congressmen on the colossal adverse effect of climate change on Bangladesh.
Congressmen Brad Sherman and Tom Marino thanked the ambassador for the detail briefings on Bangladesh.

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