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Isa Khan

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The United States is reviewing ways to provide duty-free benefits to Bangladesh for exports of items not on the Sensitive List of the GSP, said Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh on Wednesday (20 September).

The benefits could be extended to the export of garments made from cotton imported from the US, he told reporters following a meeting of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa).

At present, Bangladeshi products require a 15% duty.

The latest assurance from the US side came during the seventh Bangladesh-US Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) Council meeting in Dhaka today.

After the meeting with the US delegation, led by Brendan Lynch, acting assistant US trade representative for South and Central Asia, Tapan told reporters, "They [US delegation] told us that they are working to provide duty-free benefits for exporting goods which are not on the Sensitive List of GSP along with the garments made from cotton imported from them."

"They will discuss the matter with their high officials," he added.

The commerce secretary also said, "About 14% of Bangladesh's cotton demand is met through imports from the United States. I asked them to give duty-free benefits to garments made from these cotton. They took notes and said they will discuss the matter."

Earlier, a statement from the US embassy in Dhaka said the United States has encouraged Bangladesh to extend freedom of association and collective bargaining to Bangladesh's Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the Export Processing Zones (EPZs).

During discussions today, the US made the recommendation noting that a tripartite labour law review committee is reviewing the amendments to the Bangladesh Labour Act (BLA).

The commerce minister had earlier said the readymade garments industry in Bangladesh would be benefited if the USA approves duty-free facilities in cotton import.

Bangladesh is the second largest RMG exporter in the world and imports a huge amount of cotton every year from different countries. On the other hand, the USA is the largest cotton exporter.

Bangladesh needs around 9 million bales of cotton every year for RMG exports. But the country produces only 1.50 lakh bales of cotton annually, which is only 1.6% of the total demand.

The US lauded Bangladesh's actions to remove cotton fumigation requirement on US cotton exports, a long-standing issue that had persisted for over twenty years. The United States and Bangladesh cooperated on agricultural biotechnology dialogue and look forward to deepening their engagement this year.

During the TICFA Council meeting, the United States and Bangladesh discussed a range of issues impacting the bilateral trade relationship, most notably labour reforms, as well as policies impacting the investment climate and digital trade, intellectual property protection and enforcement, and bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector, sources said.

The United States conveyed to Bangladesh that working with trading partners to support workers' rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. The United States emphasised the importance of combating violence against workers and union organisers, as well as anti-union discrimination and other unfair labour practices, said the press release by the US embassy.

The United States recognised that Bangladesh had undertaken some efforts to address hurdles workers face when registering unions, and stressed the importance of ensuring a simplified and impartial trade union registration process that allows for applications to be registered within the legal timeframe. Additionally, the United States urged Bangladesh to dedicate more resources to labour inspections and enforcement.

The United States appreciated the Bangladesh government's consistent dialogue over the past year on Bangladesh's Data Protection Act (DPA). Both sides affirmed their commitment to the protection of personal data and ensuring that Bangladesh's digital sector continues to thrive while ensuring trust in the digital economy. Bangladesh's newest version of the DPA draft incorporated improvements from earlier versions, including the removal of criminal penalties, restricting the scope of the DPA to personal data, and limiting application to firms that process personal data within the territory of Bangladesh.

Both countries recognised the importance of the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) for protecting innovation across economies. The United States also reiterated its interest in engaging with Bangladesh on ongoing processes for amendments to IP-related laws and regulations, including the Copyright Act Amendments, Industrial Designs Act, Patent Bill, and Implementing Regulations and IPR Enforcement (Import and Export) Rules.

In addition, the United States discussed actions needed to address concerns with Bangladesh's ranking as one of the top five source economies for counterfeit clothing globally, as noted in USTR's 2023 Special 301 Report.

Both delegations planned to continue dialogue on these important bilateral trade issues before the next TICFA Council Meeting, which will be held in Washington, DC in 2024.

The US-side is expected to bring up the challenge faced by American companies in repatriating their profits from investments in Bangladesh.

This issue has arisen due to the ongoing dollar crisis in Bangladesh, affecting several US firms, such as MetLife Insurance, which have encountered difficulties in repatriating their profits from Bangladesh.

Several US investors in Dhaka met with the governor of the central bank earlier this month and discussed the issue.

Commerce ministry officials confirmed earlier that the US delegation plans to raise this matter as a priority during the discussions.

Bangladesh was supposed to insist on facilitating the registration of Bangladeshi pharmaceutical products in the US and getting financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation, the commerce secretary said as reported on The Business Standard on 18 September.

This meeting marks another chapter in the ongoing dialogue between the two nations since the signing of the Ticfa in 2013, serving as a platform to identify and address various obstacles to bilateral trade and investment.

 

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Afif

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US finally ready to play nice with Awami League?


I don’t think so. We far more dependent on USA as our largest export destination than they are on us. We can’t ditch them but they can ditch us. They have the leverage, it just they decided to not play hard.

"The United States is committed to supporting Bangladesh's ambitious economic goals and partnering with Bangladesh on our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific," President Biden said in his letter seen by UNB.

You see how they are trying to gaslight us?

For its new Indo-pacific grand strategy USA think they need to reestablish strong presence and have a serious say in BD's matters. And this very policy is always going to be with conflict with BAL, India & China.

What is obvious USA will keep strong bilateral trade and economic relationship while still asserting its soft power/hard power to influence BD's foreign policy decisions in line with the Indo-Pacific Strategy.

One thing we can observe, USA does not change its foreign policy overnight or over an election. They had a global policy for nearly two decade after 9/11. And now they have a new one, BAL staying in power is fundamentally at odd with this new Asia-Pacific strategy.
 

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US finally ready to play nice with Awami League?
US never really played hard.A lot would have been different if they did.The whole issue is grossly overhyped.

During the trump era USA was on very amicable terms with the govt.Relations were at an all time high and it was expected that BD will cooperate with USA and the West on many issues including IPS.Republican administration focused on bilateral relations and trade more than issues like democracy and human rights.

Then came the politically correct democrats ...

good relations will continue though as BD needs USA on various issues.read our indo Pacific outlook and you will get the idea.Actually the country where people like Salman F Rahman become chief advisors will never go against USA.


Note-Had no choice but to use that word.Personally not a fan of republicans.
 
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US never really played hard.A lot would have been different if they did.The whole issue is grossly overhyped.

as always.

Then came the politically correct democrats ...

good relations will continue though as BD needs USA on various issues.read our indo Pacific outlook and you will get the idea.Actually the country where people like Salman F Rahman become chief advisors will never go against USA.

It isn’t largely a democrats vs Republicans thing. See how it goes even if Republicans win the next election. They will continue to try influence our foreign policy regardless. As I said, USA want to have say in our stuff. And it will get one.
 

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US finally ready to play nice with Awami League?


Nothing new. Foreign powers, (Specially the Westerns) and their ambassadors always start jumping before general election and clam down after that.
 

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US finally ready to play nice with Awami League?

Total U turn since election day.change of tone in their official statements is also noticeable.
From India's perspective we just saw a 2006 repeat, honestly. India managed them pretty well. Only difference was this time there was no military involved.


Nothing new. Foreign powers, (Specially the Westerns) and their ambassadors always start jumping before general election and clam down after that.

Exactly same thing happened during the 2006 election era. Check out some mainstream news sources of back then, it will be 99.9 percent similar as I recall.
 

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From India's perspective we just saw a 2006 repeat, honestly. India managed them pretty well. Only difference was this time there was no military involved.




Exactly same thing happened during the 2006 election era. Check out some mainstream news sources of back then, it will be 99.9 percent similar as I recall.

Unlikely, USA does have a change of policy. The few experts in the field who I know & respect and was able to talk to personally, they all said the same thing. BAL ruled BD does not fit well into long term US Asia-Pacific strategy.
 

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Unlikely, USA does have a change of policy. The few experts in the field who I know & respect and was able to talk to personally, they all said the same thing. BAL ruled BD does not fit well into long term US Asia-Pacific strategy.

I meant the US changed policy because of India, like literally, this was a massive win for them and from what it looks like so far, I believe they will continue to do so even by using BD as an excuse/ bargaining tool for this Indo-Pacific strategy from India, at least for a year or two.
I like to compare this Indian diplomacy win to the minus-2 formula that the US had to back out of last time. I also forgot to mention that there was another difference from now, aside from the military involvement back then and that was that the UK was an influential power during the time (Brexit was probably the nail in the coffin for them, lol)
 

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I meant the US changed policy because of India, like literally, this was a massive win for them and from what it looks like so far, I believe they will continue to do so even by using BD as an excuse/ bargaining tool for this Indo-Pacific strategy from India, at least for a year or two.
I like to compare this Indian diplomacy win to the minus-2 formula that the US had to back out of last time. I also forgot to mention that there was another difference from now, aside from the military involvement back then and that was that the UK was an influential power during the time (Brexit was probably the nail in the coffin for them, lol)
Unlikely, USA does have a change of policy. The few experts in the field who I know & respect and was able to talk to personally, they all said the same thing. BAL ruled BD does not fit well into long term US Asia-Pacific strategy.
"Third, India wants to limit US influence in the region, including Bangladesh.” this ain't opinion but facts, straight forward geo/global political sense and speaking from our army thread discussion how do you keep the armed forces out from its influence? You can't. https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/politics/55v60j345z
Point of my above comment if India was able to manage the US now, then it's kind of obvious they will be able to do more in the coming days and short term is their goal for now is almost clear. Not to mention, the US is on the backfoot in almost everywhere currently, another reason they had to do this and their national election is also coming where the opposition has a different global foreign policy. Just imagine that policy on BD.
 
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yf120

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Nothing new. Foreign powers, (Specially the Westerns) and their ambassadors always start jumping before general election and clam down after that.
found a live one, this is like 100% similarity wtf except India was in the front this time
 

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for the first time in my life I have seen someone so triggered by single haha reaction🙃

@Isa Khan please ask BNP activists in forum to be respectful.

Let's keep it respectful in serious conversations. You don't know someone's political orientation for sure. So, don't project. Besides, the scope of this discussion is not internal politics.
 

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"Third, India wants to limit US influence in the region, including Bangladesh.” this ain't opinion but facts, straight forward geo/global political sense and speaking from our army thread discussion how do you keep the armed forces out from its influence? You can't. https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/politics/55v60j345z
Point of my above comment if India was able to manage the US now, then it's kind of obvious they will be able to do more in the coming days and short term is their goal for now is almost clear. Not to mention, the US is on the backfoot in almost everywhere currently, another reason they had to do this and their national election is also coming where the opposition has a different global foreign policy. Just imagine that policy on BD.
And hey look, I've earned a haha react and it seems like its not given for any funny remarks but for personal triggering reasons or something which also reminds me of putin bae!

I think you are underestimating USA's reach. Yes, it is true they don't have today what they had 2 decades years ago. And yes, it is true they were on the backfoot on multiple fronts. Still they are the sole superpower with a range of most advanced and powerful allies. And they do have their moments still, look what they did to Russia military (one of their principle adversary) without even putting a single boot on the ground.

Not to mention, we are more dependent on USA than any other nation for our export, and by that extent on the West. One thing I can tell you, USA isn't going anywhere. They seems to be determined so they will be very much here and have a say in our foreign policy. It would be interesting to see how it will be played out in the long run. USA, China, India and their unholy competition.
 

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I think you are underestimating USA's reach. Yes, it is true they don't have today what they had 2 decades years ago. And yes, it is true they were on the backfoot on multiple fronts. Still they are the sole superpower with a range of most advanced and powerful allies. And they do have their moments still, look what they did to Russia military (one of their principle adversary) without even putting a single boot on the ground.

Not to mention, we are more dependent on USA than any other nation for our export, and by that extent on the West. One thing I can tell you, USA isn't going anywhere. They seems to be determined so they will be very much here and have a say in our foreign policy. It would be interesting to see how it will be played out in the long run. USA, China, India and their unholy competition.
I don't believe either USA is going anywhere but you might be right that I may be underestimating!! If we try to see the reality till now, then the US will engage BD like they have for the last 10 years, which is not much compared to what we have seen since the 1980s to the early 2010s in most of the key policies. They tried last year to reset it to the 2010s scenario but failed because of too much Indian influence in the bureaucracy and the indo-pacific strategy, though I also believe they would've continued to reset if they were not in the back almost everywhere right now. Now, talking about the influences, from what I see, there will be less and less american influence in terms of business, fdi and such as days go by, on the other hand, vice versa for Indian influence I mean if the current system continues. Almost a decade ago, technically rooting out the NGOs slowly was just a start and it was done almost against the BD's interests.


Let's keep it respectful in serious conversations. You don't know someone's political orientation for sure. So, don't project. Besides, the scope of this discussion is not internal politics.
Damn, this was expected but anyways, there is little doubt that the nation's security discussions and interests are in conflict with this political orientation right now. If the discussions are about geopolitics and global politics objectively, then it's understandable, but when it comes to the country's defence discussion, this political orientation with comments and ideas based on individual desires which is obviously destructive to the interest and defence of the nation then it's time we speak out rather than hold out. That's what I probably tried to do, either subconciously or conciously. Sorry that I failed to hold out and projected individuals. I apologize for disrupting the conversation or offending anyone, and this will probably be the last time I'll try to bring up this issue. I think you can also see the people who are justifying and in some ways siding with countries that are clearly the opposite of the whole BD's current interest in the long term because of some political beliefs and probably in field political orientations. You won't see them speak a word about that country even if a policy with that country is going against BD's interest. Today, a while back I saw a former BGB general in news said regarding the Myanmar issue that BD should have an independent foreign policy for Myanmar. I mean wtf? I think he subtly meant BD doesn't have an independent foreign policy right now. What do you guys think?
 

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Bangladesh-US keen to begin new chapter in relations: Foreign minister​


Diplomatic Correspondent
Dhaka
Updated: 26 Feb 2024, 11: 05

Foreign minister Hasan Mahmud and the US delegation pose for a photoFacebook page US embassy Dhaka
Bangladesh and the United States are interested in starting a new chapter in relations, said Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday.
He further said that the issue was discussed with the visiting US delegation in a very cordial atmosphere for more than an hour.

The members of the US delegation led by special assistant to the president and Senior Director of South Asia Affairs of the National Security Council Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher met the Foreign Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.

The foreign minister informed the media after the meeting.
The US delegation also included Assistant Administrator at USAID Bureau for Asia Michael Schiffer and US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Afreen Akhter.

“How they (the US) can help us in our development journey and how to increase investment in Bangladesh was also discussed. Our mutual interest in starting a new chapter in the relationship was discussed in a very cordial atmosphere. We discussed it for more than an hour,” Hasan Mahmud stated.

The foreign minister also informed the media that talks have been held with US officials regarding bringing Bangabandhu’s self-confessed killer Rashed Chowdhury back to the country. “They are waiting for a decision from their judiciary regarding Rashed Chowdhury and they have informed us about it,” he added.

The cooperation between the two countries on security issues and the cooperation in international forums were also discussed, the foreign minister expressed.

When asked about the discussion on the agreements on GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) and ACSA (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement), Hasan Mahmud stated, “No specific agreement was discussed. But we are working on GSOMIA.”

Foreign minister Hasan Mahmud talks to the mediaCourtesy Foreign Ministry
In response to a question of a newsperson, the foreign minister said that there was no discussion on the recently concluded parliamentary election, meeting with the civil society and the country’s human rights situation.
Mentioning that there was a discussion on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Hasan Mahmud said, “They informed us about five observations. We are working on those observations and they have started working on how to lift the sanctions.”

The foreign minister further said about the five observations on the lifting of sanctions against RAB, “They will inform us and we will convey those to RAB. We are waiting for details from them.”

The foreign minister also informed the media that the situation in Myanmar has created a security risk in Bangladesh and the matter was discussed in the meeting. “I have handed over to her (Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher) the reply to the letter that President Joe Biden sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Our ambassador in Washington will deliver to her the original copy of the letter.”

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Dhaka said in a post on its Facebook page about this meeting, “The United States supports a prosperous, secure, and #democratic Bangladesh. We discussed with the Foreign Minister, how our two countries can work on mutual interests, including #economic development, #security, #refugees, #climate, #labor, and #trade. #Bangladesh is an important partner in the Indo-Pacific region.”

 
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When asked about the discussion on the agreements on GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) and ACSA (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement), Hasan Mahmud stated, “No specific agreement was discussed. But we are working on GSOMIA.”
Foreign minister Hasan Mahmud talks to the media


Bruh, didn't alga Momen said before the election they wouldn't do GSOMIA?😅
 

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Bruh, didn't alga Momen said before the election they wouldn't do GSOMIA?😅
I don't remember him saying anything like that ...
 

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I don't remember him saying anything like that ...

He was asked multiple times, later once he said, Bangladesh won't sign agreement with a country who sanctions us.
 

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