The rule relaxation would certainly make trading easier, and reduce the time and cost of importing US cotton
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has requested US lawmakers for providing duty-free market access to local readymade garment (RMG) items made of American cotton.
The apparel sector apex trade body wrote separate letters to the US lawmakers, including Kevin McCarthy, speaker of the house and congressman of California; Raphael Warnock, senator of Georgia; Sarah Huckabee Sanders, governor of Arkansas; Tom Cotton, senator of Arkansas; and Brian P Kemp, governor of Georgia.
In the letter, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said the Bangladesh government on February 19 eased the rules of conducting mandatory fumigation tests for importing cotton from Western countries or regions, including the US.
The rule relaxation would certainly make trading easier, and reduce the time and cost of importing US cotton, he also said.
The US imported apparel items worth $9.74 billion from Bangladesh in 2022, of which apparel items worth $6.91 billion were made of cotton.
About 71% per cent of the apparel items imported by the US from Bangladesh — were made of cotton.
The US importers had to pay duty worth $1.55 billion to import apparel worth $9.74 billion from Bangladesh.
Mentioning Bangladesh’s dependency on its access to foreign markets as well as the clothing industry’s contribution to the country’s export and economic growth, the BGMEA leader requested the US to offer duty-free market access to the apparel products made of US cotton.
As Bangladesh has positioned itself as a major supplier of apparel items across the world, there is a clear potential for the US cotton growers and exporters to further tap this market.
They can further explore opportunities, if duty-free access is granted to apparel items made of the US cotton, he added.