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Sleeping bag exporters lose hope of duty-free access to US
Sep '11
Bangladeshi sleeping bags exporters are losing hope of earning a duty-free access to the US markets as the chances of restoration of the generalised system of preferences seem to be fading.

Following objections raised by a local sleeping bag manufacturer, Exxel Outdoors Inc, against granting duty-free import of sleeping bags in the US, the Obama Government is now turning down the request from foreign sleeping bag makers to grant them a duty-free access to the US market.

The preferential access facility that the US granted to imports of sleeping bags from least developed countries (LDCs) since 1974 was halted by the US administration in January this year.

Sleeping bags initially formed a part of the proposed list of items to be included in the new comprehensive GSP. But it was later on dropped from the list in December 2010 after Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised an objection over its inclusion in the list of items qualifying for duty-free access to the US.

It was contended that sleeping bags too should be subjected to duty impositions just like other textile items, as it extends a competition to the US sleeping bag makers.

After the term of the old Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) ended on December 31 last year, the Bangladesh Commerce Ministry took up the issue for discussion with the US. The Ministry, however, is hopeful that a new inclusive GSP will be introduced later this year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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