BD Embassy continues its efforts for retaining US-GSP

As part of the Embassy’s efforts to retain US-GSP, Ambassador Akramul Qader held two separate meetings with Congresswomen Betty McCollum and Congressman Adams Schiff on Tuesday, said a press release.Besides, Deputy Chief of Mission Abdul Muhith called on Nicholas Dean, Senior Director for South Asia, National Security Staff, White House, with the same agenda.
During the meetings with Congressmen, Ambassador Qader explained at length the possible catastrophic effects of GSP withdrawal, the harm it can cause to the Bangladesh’s brand name and more importantly to the millions of women workers of the country.
The Ambassador stressed that though Bangladesh’s principal export item, i.e. readymade garments (RMG) is not covered under the GSP, Bangladesh’s removal from the list of beneficiary countries would create serious branding concern for the country, it added.
The Ambassador then enlightened the Congressmen on the initiatives of the Government to advance labour welfare which include, setting up task forces to implement safety and compliances in the factories, allowing collective bargaining by the workers in RMG and EPZs, enhancing skills, providing daily needs at a subsidized rate and so on.
He noted that Bangladesh’s factory compliance issue needs to be assessed in the light of socio-economic realities, people’s per capita income, labors skills, cost of import goods, price of garment products in the retail stores and related issues.
Referring to the recent tragic fire incident at Tazreen Fashions, the Ambassador mentioned that, it was purely an accident and the Government has taken all-out measures to compensate the victims’ families and punish those responsible for such negligence.
Both the Congressmen paid serious attention to the Bangladesh Ambassador’s briefing and assured that they would take up the issue at appropriate level of the US authorities so that the GSP issue is resolved taking Bangladesh’s best interest into account.
In another meeting with Ncholas Dean, Abdul Muhith, Deputy Chief of Mission highlighted numbers of initiatives by the Bangladesh Government to address the labour compliance issue.
Muhith informed the US high official that the concerned agencies in Bangladesh have been working together to come up with a concrete response to the AFL-CIO’s latest petition.
Dean, in response, expressed his appreciation of Bangladesh Government’s positive intent and advised Bangladesh to formulate a time-bound and forward-looking proposal to improve labour situation.
Dean assured of his support to the effect of Bangladesh’s retention of

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