In what may be termed a positive development that is bound to infuse new hope and enthusiasm amongst the Bangladesh garment manufacturers who have been facing the heat of export downfall lately while also anticipating adverse impact of Coronavirus outbreak on business, there are signs that the GSP facility to the US market which was taken back on 27 June 2013, following Rana Plaza collapse, may get reinstated.
“We look forward to continuing talks with the Government of Bangladesh on how we might be able to progress here and how the GSP status will be restored,” Charge d’affaires of the US Embassy JoAnne Wagner told reporters recently adding, “The US is looking forward to talk again about restoring GSP status and a great deal of progress on workers’ rights.”
The USA is a major apparel export destination for Bangladesh, where the latter benefitted from exporting around 5,000 different items tariff-free under the GSP facility.
But that was only till USA decided to take back the facility.
Following the GSP withdrawal, the USA had placed a set of conditions including improvement of the working conditions in RMG factories to revive the trade benefit.
Despite repeated attempts and what the garment makers’ claim substantial progress in improving workers’ rights, workplace safety and other concern areas, the USA is yet to reinstate the trade facility.