Disapproving US Ambassador Dan Mozena’s zero-tariff claim, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday said Bangladesh’s readymade garments enter the US market paying necessary duty.
“We’ve been demanding duty- quota-free market access to the US market. US envoy’s statement isn’t correct as Bangladesh enters the US market paying necessary duty,” he told a function in the city.
At a program earlier on Tuesday, the US diplomat disagreed with the notion that Bangladesh pays US$ 800 million annually as tariff for goods to enter the US market, but Mozena said Bangladesh pays zero-tariff as the buyers actually pay it.
The Commerce Minister said many developed nations are providing duty-free access of Bangladesh products to their markets as per the decision of the World Trade Organization (WTO). “But the US is not providing this support to us though they’re providing it to African nations.”
Tofail said Bangladesh could have been benefited much had it gotten duty- and quota-free access to the US market.
Expressing disappointment, the Commerce Minister said new conditions are being imposed on Bangladesh for the withdrawal of suspension of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits. “This is unexpected.”
He said Bangladesh has fulfilled the conditions of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for restoring the GSP benefits. “There are some long-term issues and work on those is going on rightly.”
The Commerce Minister said an international conspiracy is on against Bangladesh as it emerged as a dignified nation at the global stage.
He said Bangladesh today exports US$ 30.19 billion annually though it started its journey empty-handed.
Bangladesh Intending Agents’ Association (BIAA) arranged the event with its President KMH Shahidul Haque in the chair.
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed and Bangladesh Insurance Association President Sheikh Kabir Hossain also spoke on the occasion.
Tofail disapproves Mozena BD garments enter US market paying duty