Bangladesh is one of the highest cotton importers from USA. It now wants USA to consider duty-free market access for such garment products. Bangladesh is the second largest cotton importer in the world and the country has long been importing cotton from the US to make apparel for exports. Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the US, its single largest destination, have declined 1.96 per cent year-on-year. Garment items account for 95 per cent of the goods exported from Bangladesh to the US market. There is a change in the attitude of US consumers, who now prefer spending more on electronic gadgets compared to clothes. Bangladesh now faces an export duty of 15.62 per cent under America’s most favored nations’ category.
Bangladesh has long been urging the US to allow it tariff-free market access. The US has already granted unilateral tariff-free market access to African and Caribbean less developed countries. Only Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal and a few other Asia-Pacific less developed countries are yet to get the access. Both imports from Bangladesh to the US and exports from the US to Bangladesh declined in 2016.