Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi yesterday urged the United States Trade Representative to ensure fair prices for Bangladeshi garment items in the US as the cost of production has increased manifold.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse, a massive change took place in the garment sector, the minister said in a meeting with Zeba Reyazuddin, deputy assistant USTR for South and Central Asian Affairs, at the minister’s secretariat office in Dhaka.
The factories are now more modern and workplace safety is ensured. As a result, the garment manufacturers’ production costs have soared.
However, the retailers are not increasing the prices for purchasing the apparel items accordingly, the minister said.
Both Munshi and Reyazuddin discussed the progresses of the issues discussed between Bangladesh and the US in the fourth round of Trade Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) meeting that was held in Washington in September last year.
In the fourth round of TICFA meeting both the countries discussed about the bilateral trade, investment climate, e-business, fair prices, tariff and non-tariff barriers, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, digital trade facilitation, regional connectivity and trade related capacity building.
In the meeting, the US urged the Bangladesh government for withdrawal of the requirement for double fumigation on import of US cotton in Bangladesh, according to a statement from the commerce ministry.
Earl R. Miller, the US ambassador in Bangladesh, was also present at the meeting.