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Duty-free entry in to US demanded by apparel exporters
Jul '10
All major apparel manufacturers and exporters of the country have demanded a number of facilities from the visiting US state department official, Atul Keshap, who is an acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the South and Central Asian regions.

This series of demands also includes duty-free access to the US market. In this regard, President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), AK Azad requested the US official, to facilitate them with tariff-free entry in to the US market. Azad further added that, such facility to Bangladesh would not affect US apparel makers.

Soon after the introduction of the bill, which had been introduced by Senator, Jim McDermott, last November and which offered superior duty-free facilities to 15 least developed countries, many US textile companies and trade associations of South and North American and African countries, started opposing Bangladesh's inclusion into the bill.

Commenting on the issue, Mahbubur Rahman, President of International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh pointed that, if sub-Saharan and African countries can avail tariff-free access to the US, then why should Bangladesh be left behind.

The country has to pay 15 percent duty while exporting apparel goods to US and has to compete with China in these exports, said Fazlul Hoque, the immediate past President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

Duty-free access to the US, could allow Bangladeshi apparel exporters to address their workers' grievances, in a much better manner.

According to the President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), Abdul Hai Sarker, Bangladesh imports cotton worth around $500 million from the US each year under the duty-free facility, and this volume will increase two-fold if Bangladeshi apparels receive duty-free access to the US market.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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