US to suspend Bangladesh trade privileges

from the Financial Times..

June 27, 2013

By Richard McGregor in Washington

The Obama administration has decided to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh, citing its poor labour standards after a series of disasters in the country’s multibillion-dollar clothing export factories.

The decision, announced on Thursday, follows a petition from the AFL-CIO, the largest US union federation, complaining about labour and safety standards in Bangladesh.

The suspension of Bangladesh from the so-called generalised system of preferences, or GSP, a status that allows recipient countries to export some goods tariff-free, is largely symbolic, as it does not cover garments.

The US imported $4.9bn worth of goods from Bangladesh in 2012, nearly all of that apparel and related goods.

By contrast, the decision to suspend trade privileges affects only $34.7m worth of 2012 imports, including tobacco, sporting equipment, porcelain china, plastic products and a small amount of textile products.

“Most textile and apparel products are not eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP programme,” said a US government official.

Link to the entire article: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/09e130c4-df43-11e2-a9f4-00144feab7de.html#axzz2XXylgUmf

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