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Sleeping bags get zero-duty access to US market till July' 13
28
Sep '11
Following the US Senate's passing of legislation to renew the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), Bangladeshi sleeping bags have got zero-duty access to the US market till 31st July 2013.

Until mid-September this year, the US Congress had not authorized the renewal of the GSP programme which expired in December last year. The GSP, introduced in 1976 by the Trade Act of 1974, provides preferential zero-duty entry for nearly 4,800 items from 129 beneficiary nations and regions, including Bangladesh.

However, the benefit to Bangladesh from the GSP is limited as garment items do not form a part of the preferential goods. But, sleeping bags were included in the GSP list as they were not categorized as textile items.

In December last year, a petition was filed with the US Trade Representative for banning of duty-free import of sleeping bags from Bangladesh. 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.

Subsequently, there were two hearings before the US International Trade Commission on the issue.

In Bangladesh, sleeping bag production is still in the nascent stage and earnings from their exports were US$ 5.3 million last year.

There is a 10 to 40 percent import tariff on sleeping bags in the US, and as the duty-free facility has been retained, Bangladeshi manufacturers would now be exempt from paying the tariff.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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