The United States of America (USA) is a major export destination for Bangladesh especially for its garment products but levying of duties on imports from Bangladesh by the former is seen as a major impediment towards increasing the export volumes to USA.
With reference to the same, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, while attending a luncheon meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Dhaka recently, floated an idea to strike a deal on purchasing cotton from the US in exchange of getting duty-free market access to the country for garment items made of raw materials including cotton imported from USA.
“My proposal is that we will buy more cotton from the US for producing apparel products which should be exempted from duty,” maintained Momen, adding, “Lets’ start and see how things work out.”
It may be mentioned here that on average 15.6 per cent import duty on Bangladeshi products is levied, mainly readymade garment, for the US market.
Momen said that the USA had already similar facilities for Sub-Saharan African countries and Caribbean countries under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Caribbean Initiative while adding that US was the biggest export destination of Bangladeshi products, mainly RMG, with US $ 6.9 billion in export earnings in the last fiscal year of 2018-2019.