[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

US cut of trade privilege angers Bangladesh

Punitive move by US, described by Dhaka as "shocking", follows deadly garment factory collapse that killed 1,100 people.

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2013 05:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Bangladesh's garment industry is notorious for its poor safety standards [Reuters]

Bangladesh has criticised the decision by the United States to cut trade privileges in the wake of a deadly garment factory collapse, insisting it had taken concrete action to improve safety.

"It cannot be more shocking for the factory workers of Bangladesh that the decision to suspend Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) comes at a time when the government of Bangladesh has taken concrete and visible measures to improve factory safety and protect workers' rights," a foreign ministry statement said on Friday.

The US had announced a day earlier that it was removing duty-free trade which had been accorded to Bangladesh under GSP programme, citing dangerous conditions for workers after more than 1,100 people were killed in a factory disaster in April.

GSP is a US programme that eliminates duties on imports from 127 countries to aid their development.

The cut means importers of some Bangladesh products will now have to pay duties on them to bring them into the US and is also an embarrassment to the government which declared a series of safety initiatives after the April 24 disaster at the Rana Plaza garment factory complex, near Dhaka.

Although the GSP programme does not cover the garment industry, the decision will increase the pressure on Dhaka to take credible moves to increase workplace safety after a series of disasters in the sector which accounts for 80 percent of its $25 billion exports.

Announcing the decision in a presidential order, US President Barack Obama said that Bangladesh "has not taken or is not taking steps to afford internationally recognised worker rights to workers in the country."

267

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list