BGMEA lobbyist firm seeks govt help to get new US trade bill passed | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 30, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 30, 2007

BGMEA lobbyist firm seeks govt help to get new US trade bill passed

The BGMEA lobbyist firm in the US has asked Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry to play active role in pursuing the House of Representatives to pass a bill of preferential market access for local garment products.
'We wish to reiterate the need for your Foreign Ministry to take active and lead role in meeting their counterparts in African countries, and through its mission in Washington meeting members of Congress for pursuing to pass the New Partnership for Development Act 2007 (NPDA)," according to a letter of Sorini Samet and Associates, the BGMEA lobbyist firm in the Unites States of America.
The NPDA is a new bill that was proposed in the US Congress seeking a duty-free access of the textile products of least developed countries (LDCs), including Bangladesh, to the US market.
Officials of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said they received the letter yesterday from its lobbyist firm and would convey it to the ministry concerned.
The lobbyist firm argued that the foreign ministry's effective role can convince the US lawmakers and the administration to favour the bill.
Bangladesh's foreign ministry's effective role will be an effective way to promote the bill and will help diminish the concerns expressed by African countries that they might lose out to Bangladesh in exports to the US on passage of the NPDA, said a BGMEA official referring to the remarks of the lobbyist firm.
Meanwhile, the government on Monday formed 2 taskforces under the commerce ministry to pursue the passage of the NPDA-2007.
Both the committees have been assigned to conduct separate studies on ways to obtain duty-free access of Bangladeshi products to the US market.
US is the single largest market for Bangladesh garment products and 3 billion of the country's $9.2 billion worth apparel exports last fiscal came from the US market.
The garment manufactures have taken the letter with serious concern. They said this bill could be the finest window for Bangladesh to have a strong position in the US market and doubling garment export in the next three years globally.
"The NDPA will help us to avoid stiff competition with our major competitors in the US market," said a BGMEA leader, suggesting that the government should go forward also for such lobbying in the national interest.

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