The United States is the main apparel target in Bangladesh, with a two-way merchandise trade between countries in 2012, with a total value of $5.4 billion. However, the suspension of GSP by the United States is not very unusual. The GSP was introduced by the United States in 1976 and subsequently underwent a number of modifications. A number of GSP countries have faced suspension or termination of the benefit for a variety of reasons. Last October, for example, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the suspension of about $1.30 billion in trade preferences for Thailand under the GSP, due to the « failure to adequately guarantee the rights of internationally recognized workers. » The suspension will take effect from April this year and will cover about one third of the Thai GSP trade. The assertion that trade deficits are not a debt and is good for the economy is also incorrect. According to the Institute for Economic Policy (EPI), trade deficits have eliminated nearly 5 million well-paying manufacturing jobs and 90,000 factories over the past two decades. President Barack Obama, in emphasizing the TPP trade agreement, said, « While some communities have suffered from foreign competition, trade has helped our economy far more than it has done harm. » Bangladesh has a number of shortcomings in this regard. The country has not yet signed a BFTA with a country. In addition, each BFTA with the United States will not be a limited agreement to trade in goods and services.
It includes investment, intellectual property law and labour and environmental standards. Because the United States believes in « deep integration, » the complete liberalization of goods, services and investment is a determining factor. Second, there are commitments that go beyond the trade aspects of the WTO`s intellectual property rights (TRIPS). The so-called « TRIPS Plus » commitment will be very hard for countries like Bangladesh. At the recent ICTFA meeting, the United States stressed effective protection of intellectual property. There is also a demand for investment protection. Environmental and work standards are also two essential elements for every BFTA with the United States. 2. Trump`s tariffs with China are working and we must continue to use them to slow the flow of cheap imports and move toward a balanced trade budget. Bangladeshi Ambassador Akramul Qader called the agreement « an opening of a new chapter » in relations between the two nations and said it would help Dhaka regain trade privileges in the United States.