Thursday, June 27, 2013

U.S. To Suspend Trade Privileges for Bangladesh

U.S. President Barak Obama is expected to announce today that the United States is suspending trade privileges for Bangladesh in response to concerns about safety problems and labor rights violations in that country.  The move comes in response to pressure on the administration from labor unions and the U.S. Labor Department to take action to address these issues following the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh in April that killed more than 1,000 persons.  Labor officials in the United States claim Bangladesh has dragged its feet in addressing the safety issues.  Currently, Bangladesh enjoys trade privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which is designed to give special trade privileges to poor countries to assist with development.  In the case of Bangladesh, GSP status allows it to ship more than 5,000 products to the United States duty-free, but does not cover the garment industry.  Suspending GSP status may influence Europe to apply more pressure on Bangladesh to improve safety and labor conditions.


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