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US wants Bangladesh to withdraw cotton import restrictions
25
Jul '18
Cotton sector leaders from the United States want Bangladesh to lift the old fumigation rules on the import of US cotton as the process imposes an additional cost burden on the importers and spinners and results in increased lead time. American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) president Raymond Faus recently urged Bangladesh to review the unfair restrictions.

The restrictions include phytosanitary requirements.

Only US cotton is subject to fumigation in Bangladesh, allegedly to prevent boll weevil, which has been eradicated from the United States long ago, Bangladesh media reports quoted Faus as saying.Faus was part of a US delegation that visited Dhaka recently on the occasion of Cotton Day.

The fumigation rule was enacted in the late 1960s reportedly to protect Pakistani cotton against competition from US cotton.

But the rule is irrelevant now as Bangladesh is not a major cotton producer and depends heavily on imports, said Sabbir Ahmed Chowdhury, programme representative of Cotton Council International (CCI) in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the largest cotton importer in the world, while the United States is the largest exporter.

But the US share in the Bangladeshi cotton market is very less as the latter is overwhelmingly dependent on Indian cotton for feeding its readymade garment industry.

The United States can be a bigger source of high-quality, reliable cotton in Bangladesh if a level playing field can be created, according to CCI director William R. Bettendorf.

"Almost no other cotton importing countries including China or Vietnam have that phytosanitary requirement," Bettendorf noted.

Congestion at the Chittagong port also adds to the rise in cost while also creating much more exposure to price volatility, said Faus, who is the CEO of US cotton giant Omnicotton.

Even India imports most of its cotton from the United States, added Bettendorf. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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