GSP verdict may be delayed | The Daily Star
12:28 AM, June 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:37 AM, June 04, 2013

GSP verdict may be delayed

The United States Trade Representative might delay the verdict on whether Bangladesh will continue to enjoy the generalised system of preferences in the US market, an official said yesterday.
Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed said the USTR, the chief trade negotiator for the US president, is taking time to observe the developments after the Rana Plaza collapse.
"This may delay the verdict."
Bangladesh attended a USTR hearing on the continuation of the trade benefit on March 28 in Washington.
The verdict was supposed to come in the first week this month.
“We are yet to get any response from the USTR,” Ahmed told The Daily Star by phone.
A 14-member team led by Ahmed attended the hearing after the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisation (AFL-CIO) along with some Senators put pressure on the USTR to discontinue the duty-waiver scheme for Bangladesh.
The AFL-CIO, the largest trade union in the US, and some other quarters came with the call alarmed by a devastating fire at Ashulia-based Tazreen Fashions that killed around 112 workers in November last year.
“I don't know when the USTR verdict will come. But I can say the verdict will be in favour of Bangladesh as we presented our position strongly at the hearing,” Ahmed said.
Bangladesh enjoys duty-free benefit for some selected goods such as plastic products and ceramics under the GSP scheme, but the amount is only 0.54 percent of the total export of $5 billion to the US market a year.
Yet, the GSP issue is important for Bangladesh, as some other countries, where Bangladesh is now enjoying the benefit, might be influenced by any negative move by the US, Bangladesh had said at the hearing.

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