Industry Desk: A business delegation from Bangladesh left for the USA on 10 September to attend the fourth Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA). The meeting will be held in Washington on 13 September. It might be recalled that the first TICFA meet was held in Dhaka in April 2014, the second was held in Washington in November 2015 while the third one took place in Dhaka in May 2017.
The time of the fourth meet holds relevance as issues such as rights of workers in a garment factory or suspension of GSP facilities have lately created a rift in US-Bangladesh relations. While the Bangladesh delegation will be led by Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, the US team will be headed by Mark Linscott, Assistant US Trade Representative, South and Central Asian Affairs.
Shubhashish Bose said that Bangladesh would raise important issues like export tariff reforms, access of local products in US market, transfer of technology and also US investment in local economic zones. He further added that issues pertaining to economic cooperation and engagement to be covered under TICFA deal would also be a subject of discussion. Besides, there will be talk on trade facilitation agreement as well.
It is worth noting that among the 232 countries exporting to USA, Bangladesh is the highest tariff payer. In 2017-2018, of the US $ 6 billion products exported by Bangladesh to USA, apparels, footwear and headwear constituted 95 per cent of the total.
The tariffs on all Bangladeshi imports were 15.2 per cent of the total value of the country’s shipments to the US.