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RMG exporters seek preferential tariffs in US market
06
Oct '09
The government of Bangladesh is planning to petition the US administration to provide access to its clothing exports at lower tariffs. This comes on the back of similar request from Pakistan and Sri Lanka to bring down import duties for selected product categories.

At present, Bangladesh receives preferential treatment in its export to the European Union. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are currently paying an import duty of 15 percent on exports of clothing, but the later two want it brought down progressively to 5 percent, in five years.

A high-powered committee on WTO negotiations is making preparations to table the issue both in the LDCs' mini-ministerial meeting in Tanzania to be held on October 14-16 and WTO Summit in Geneva from November 30, along with which, its mission in the US is also lobbying for the preferential treatment.

Experts from the industry aver that a few preferential benefits extended to Pakistan by the US like duty free exports from the disturbed areas has the potency to undermine the export potential of ready-made garments from the country.

Recently a bill had been tabled in the US senate which allows 14 Least Developed Countries (LDC's) to export garments and other products at zero duty, which is also available to a few beneficiary countries covered under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

These countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Laos, the Maldives, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, East Timor, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Yemen. The bill also includes Sri Lanka as an eligible country.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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