Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-US Ambassador to Bangladesh Mercia Bernicat has that Washington is committed to helping Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) sector, according to media reports in that country.
Bernicat’s comments came during a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, reports fibre2fashion.
Hasina’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting that the two had discussed various bilateral and trade matters as well as issues concerning other sectors.
“The ambassador has said that the US is committed to helping Bangladesh in the readymade garment sector. The GSP issue was not mentioned, but she reiterated that the US decision was not political.”
Karim said Bernicat hailed Bangladesh for working to meet the necessary requirements.
“She said the US buyers wanted to know the conditions of the workers in this sector.”
The US stopped extending the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) facility for Bangladeshi products in 2013 after the Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza disaster that killed hundreds of garment workers.
Bangladesh was then given 16 conditions to fulfil for the restoration of the benefit.
The government claims the conditions have been met, but the US is not yet satisfied.
The 2013 suspension, however, did not directly hit Bangladesh’s garment exports as it was not among the almost 5,000 commodities accorded this facility.
The US recently renewed the GSP facility for 122 countries, but Bangladesh was not among them.
Bernicat appreciated Bangladesh’s impressive success on different socio-economic fronts under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Not only in the garment sector, Bangladeshis also doing well in agro-based industries and shipbuilding sector under the leadership of the Prime Minister,” the US ambassador said.