US imposes highest tariffs on B’desh goods: study

Staff Correspondent | Published at 12:58am on April 08, 2018

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Bangladesh pays the highest tariffs in the world, in terms of value of export, to the US market, according to an analysis of Pew Research Center, a US-based research organisation.
‘Nearly all Bangladeshi imports were subject to US duty and the tariffs on them were equivalent to 15.2 per cent of the total value of the country’s shipment to the US,’ said organisation analysing the data from the US International Trade Commission.
This is the highest average rate among the 232 countries, territories and other jurisdictions in the ITC database, said the report released on Thursday.
For all imports worldwide, the US imposed tariffs equal to about 1.4 per cent of total value.
Bangladesh exported goods worth about $5.7 billion to the US in 2017, 95 per cent of which were apparel, footwear, headgear and related items, it said.
Policy Research Institute executive director Ahsan H Mansur on Saturday told New Age that the average duty incidence was the highest for Bangladesh because of its concentration on a single item — readymade garment — in export to the US market.
Bangladesh paid around 16 per cent duty on RMG export to the USA, he said, adding that the duty was reflected in the report.
The average incidence of tariffs would be lower if Bangladesh could export diversified products to the country, he thinks.
The duty on export of textile items to US was higher for almost all countries, he said.
But the average tariff rate was lower for many of them like China as they exported hundreds of products to the market, he added.
The report said that despite the talk of ‘trade war’ with China, the highest US tariffs were on imports from other Asian countries whose exports to the country were heavily weighted toward clothing and other products that the US generally taxed highly.
Cambodia pays duties equal to 14.1 per cent of the total value export to the US, Sri Lanka pays 11.9 per cent, Pakistan 8.9 per cent and Vietnam 7.2 per cent of value of exports to the country as tariffs, according to the report.
But, the duties on Chinese imports totaled $13.5 billion last year, or 2.7 per cent of their total value.
The ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China has led both countries to announce tariffs worth billions of dollars on each other’s products.
China is the largest single exporter to the US — Chinese goods worth more than $500 billion entered the US last year — and American tariffs on Chinese products were on the high side even before the latest round of tit-for-tat increases.
But they are by no means the highest import duties the US charges, the report says.
The average tariff rates the US imposes on its other major trading partners are much lower than those on China.
Mexico and Canada, the second- and third-highest sources of US imports, had the average duties last year of just 0.12 per cent and 0.08 per cent of the value of their imports, respectively.
The average rates for Japan and Germany were both less than 2 per cent, South Korea, with which the US also has a free trade agreement, had duties equal to just 0.25 per cent on its $70.5 billion in total exports to the country.