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Web Exclusive | January 2017

Threat to Bangla garment exports to US

Exports from Bangladesh, particularly of garment items, will face further tariff competition in the US market if Donald Trump, the President-elect, implements his plan of border tax, one of his major campaign promises. During his 17-month presidential campaign, Trump called for imposing border tax of between 35 per cent and 45 per cent on imports of goods to protect American jobs from unfair foreign competition. Companies that import goods would pay the tax at the border.

“If the proposed border tax is imposed finally, we would be sufferers like other countries,” said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute, a private think-tank. “The implementation of the proposed border tax would be the one of the worst news for us as well as for rest of the globe,” he added. Although most of the attention is still focused on whether Trump will slap tariffs on China or target companies that move production offshore, proposals for a US tax regime that penalises imports could have a more permanent and far-reaching effect, reported the Financial Times. 

Currently, American retailers have to pay 15.61 per cent duty for importing garment items from Bangladesh. Apparel items account for 95 per cent of Bangladesh's total exports to the US in a year. The US apparel importers have to pay 3.08 per cent duty for importing products from China, 8.38 per cent from Vietnam, 2.29 per cent from India, 3.57 perc ent from Turkey and 6.30 per cent from Indonesia.
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