Bangladesh has not yet implemented substantial parts of the Action Plan given by the US administration to retain GSP benefit in the US market, says USTR.
An interagency review led by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has concluded that Bangladesh has made some important progress, but must do more to address the worker rights and worker safety issues that led US President Barack Obama to suspend the country’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade benefits in June 2013.
At the time of the suspension, the Administration provided the Government of Bangladesh with an Action Plan, which provides a basis for the President to consider the reinstatement of GSP trade benefits.
The government is behind schedule in carrying out many hundreds of critical safety inspections in garment factories, as well as meeting its commitments to hire additional inspectors, it said.
The government has also been slow to respond to continuing reports of harassment and violence against labor activists.
The review concluded that the government need to develop a credible and effective mechanism for responding to and addressing allegations of unfair labor practices.
Since the suspension of GSP, the government has also not advanced the labor law reforms called for in the Action Plan, including changes to ensure that workers are afforded the same rights and protections in Export Processing Zones as in the rest of the country.
As the basis for its determination, the Administration reviewed progress by the Government of Bangladesh in implementing the specific measures listed in the Action Plan.