Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena on Saturday said loss of GSP privileges for Bangladesh would send most negative message to the markets around the world.
“If Bangladesh’s GSP privileges are removed I fear getting them restored would be lengthy and arguable process,” he added.
The US envoy was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) at a city hotel.
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, IBFB president Hafizur Rahman Khan and its founding president Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion, which was joined, among others, by former secretaries. 
Mozena said harassment of labour organizers, refusal to the formation of trade union and unsafe working condition in the apparel sector are among others that pushed Bangladesh to face probable discontinuation of GSP.
“Anticipated removal of Bangladesh’s trade preference due to inadequate protection of workers rights in the RMG and shrimp sectors is real and the issues are serious,” he said. 
He said Bangladesh’s government and owners in the RMG sector are endeavoring to address these concerns so that the GSP privileges are not removed.
Mozena said loss of GSP facility could disqualify Bangladesh from having duty free quota free access to the American market.
Besides, he said, Bangladesh may be affected from the tariff treatments as the country is enjoying as a member of the least developed countries (LDCs) with discontinuation of the GSP privilege.
“You (businessmen) too can help on this front,” he added. 
Unlike EU’s (European Union) GSP-spread that covers ‘everything but arms’, the US GSP is limited as it covers a meagre 0.54 percent of Bangladesh’s exports to the USA, which in terms of value is $26 million as against Bangladesh’s total export of $4.91 billion to the US in 2012. 
A total of 97 percent Bangladeshi export goods enter the US market without any duty but the garments, the country’s main export items, have to pay 15.3 percent duty.
BBN/SSR/AD-23Mar13-9:47 pm (BST)