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Bangladesh Govt. to submit report on GSP action plan on April 15

imagesThe government will submit a progress report on “Bangladesh Action Plan 2013??? to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on April 15 though the review for reinstating Bangladesh’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits still looks uncertain. Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told UNB on Saturday (12 April 2014) . 

The government will submit a progress report on “Bangladesh Action Plan 2013??? to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on April 15 though the review for reinstating Bangladesh’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits still looks uncertain.

The legal authorisation for the GSP programme expired on July 31, 2013 and the US Congress is considering a legislation that would extend the authorisation of GSP beyond this date, according to the USTR.

As long as the GSP programme remains with no authorisation, there will be no public hearing and no request for public comments for the ongoing GSP country and product reviews and no final disposition of these reviews.

“We’ll send the progress report by April 15 (Tuesday),??? Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told UNB on Saturday, mentioning that he cannot tell about possible hearing or review on GSP restoration soon.

Asked whether the progress is satisfactory, the Commerce Secretary declined to make comment at this stage.

Another official at the Commerce Ministry said an inter-ministerial meeting might be called for Sunday to give the final shape to the progress report.

The Commerce Ministry might send the report to the Bangladesh Mission in Washington, if not sent directly to the USTR, and Bangladesh mission will send it to the USTR.

Voicing satisfaction over the progress on GSP Action Plan, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed reiterated that Bangladesh would get back GSP benefit in the US market if politics is not associated with the restoration process.

US Ambassador Dan Mozena, on his return from US tour recently, said there has been progress but much more needs to be done.

On March 25, US Senator Robert Menendez, in a letter to BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam, said, “As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, I cannot support the renewal or expansion of Bangladesh’s GSP benefits as long as union organisers and members are subject to harassment, intimidation, and violence from BGMEA factory owners and managers.???

On June 27, 2013, US President Barack Obama announced his decision to suspend Bangladesh’s trade benefits under the GSP in view of insufficient progress by the Bangladesh government in affording Bangladeshi workers internationally-recognised worker rights.

The legal authorisation for the GSP programme expired on July 31, 2013 and the US Congress is considering a legislation that would extend the authorisation of GSP beyond this date, according to the USTR.

As long as the GSP programme remains with no authorisation, there will be no public hearing and no request for public comments for the ongoing GSP country and product reviews and no final disposition of these reviews.

“We’ll send the progress report by April 15 (Tuesday),??? Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told UNB on Saturday, mentioning that he cannot tell about possible hearing or review on GSP restoration soon.

Asked whether the progress is satisfactory, the Commerce Secretary declined to make comment at this stage.

Another official at the Commerce Ministry said an inter-ministerial meeting might be called for Sunday to give the final shape to the progress report.

The Commerce Ministry might send the report to the Bangladesh Mission in Washington, if not sent directly to the USTR, and Bangladesh mission will send it to the USTR.

Voicing satisfaction over the progress on GSP Action Plan, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed reiterated that Bangladesh would get back GSP benefit in the US market if politics is not associated with the restoration process.

US Ambassador Dan Mozena, on his return from US tour recently, said there has been progress but much more needs to be done.

On March 25, US Senator Robert Menendez, in a letter to BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam, said, “As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, I cannot support the renewal or expansion of Bangladesh’s GSP benefits as long as union organisers and members are subject to harassment, intimidation, and violence from BGMEA factory owners and managers.???

On June 27, 2013, US President Barack Obama announced his decision to suspend Bangladesh’s trade benefits under the GSP in view of insufficient progress by the Bangladesh government in affording Bangladeshi workers internationally-recognised worker rights.

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Report: Dhaka Tribune

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