Local clothing manufacturers have sought fair prices from their U.S. buyers and urged the U.S. government to lower tariffs on clothing items originating in Bangladesh.
Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), stressed the need for a smoother and more sustainable supply chain and sourcing.
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He also asked buyers to minimize multiple audits of factories in order to reduce the costs that factory owners face.
The call came during a roundtable titled “Seven Years After Rana Plaza: Who’s Doing What? hosted by the Bangladeshi Embassy in Washington on Friday, according to a press release.
Government officials and BGMEA leaders briefed the US government and other stakeholders on ongoing efforts to improve factory safety and ensure the well-being of workers in the garment industry and encourage more US imports of clothing items from Bangladesh.
The United States is a major destination for Bangladesh’s RMG exports, with an annual shipment of around $ 6 billion.
The United States suspended the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Bangladesh in June 2013, two months after the collapse of Rana Plaza. Dhaka requested the restoration of the commercial facility.
Apparel manufacturers say their operating costs have gone up, so they’re demanding fair prices and lower tariffs.
Mr. Shahidul Islam, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States, recognized the immense contribution of the garment industry to the economy of Bangladesh.
The government has taken various initiatives to support the welfare of workers and industry, especially since the tragic Rana Plaza incident, he said.
He stressed the importance of engaging in in-depth discussions and dialogues in all forums, including the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement, to promote trade between the two countries.
BGMEA chief Hassan highlighted initiatives by government and professional organization, including the establishment of the RMG Sustainability Council and the Tripartite Consultative Council to maintain workplace safety and promote rights and the good -be garment workers.
He briefed attendees on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to the garment industry and how BGMEA has supported workers during this difficult time.
He also acknowledged the government’s generous support for exporters by unveiling stimulus packages.
During the interactive session, Christopher Wilson, U.S. Deputy Trade Representative for South Asia, spoke about the current U.S. administration’s focus on the welfare of workers, both at home and abroad. ‘abroad.
Citing the tariff issue as the prerogative of the US Congress, he stressed the need for constant and closer commitments between the two governments on labor and related issues, the Bangladesh Embassy press release said.
William Jackson, USTR Assistant for Textiles, Jennifer Larson, Director for South and Central Asia at the US Department of State, Maureen Haggard, Director for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the Department of State American, Miran Ali, Vice President of BGMEA, Ambassador Teresita Schaffer of McLarty Associates, and representatives of the US-Bangladesh Business Council, the American Apparel and Footwear Association and the Walmart and Target brands participated in the panel discussion. .