Annual Report to US Congress calls for Bangladesh labour law reforms

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The US government, in its 2023 Annual Report to Congress, has called for upgrading labour laws in Bangladesh as per international standards to be in tune with President Joe Biden’s 2024 Trade Policy Agenda.

The Agenda and the Annual Report were released on March 1.

The US government, in its 2023 Annual Report to Congress, has called for upgrading labour laws in Bangladesh as per global standards to be in tune with the 2024 Trade Policy Agenda.
USTR is working to set up a Council on Trade and Competitiveness, which will implement the guidance in the East Room Declaration of the Leaders of the Americas Partnership.

The United States has earlier repeatedly urged Bangladesh to reform its labour laws, extending the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining to the export processing zones and special economic zones, and to ease the trade union registration requirements for workers.

The US trade representative (USTR) engaged with the commerce ministry throughout last year to convey the importance of the present US dispensation’s worker-centred trade policy.

USTR officials interacted with government agencies and textile and apparel brands, retailers, trade associations, and domestic and international labour stakeholders regarding this.

USTR and inter-agency partners highlighted growing concerns regarding violence against and harassment of workers, unfair labour practices, freedom of association, collective bargaining and the need for a fair and transparent minimum wage process for garment workers at the US-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Agreement (TICFA) council meeting in September last year.

Because of concerns related to worker safety standards and worker rights, Bangladesh’s eligibility for the Generalised System of Preferences was terminated in 2013, the Report said.

The 2024 Trade Policy Agenda stands up for workers’ rights and sustainable trade practices; supports US farmers, ranchers, fishers and food manufacturers; bolsters supply chain resilience; addresses unfair policies and practices; and advances inclusive, durable trade policy through expanded engagement, an official release said.    

USTR is working closely to set up a Council on Trade and Competitiveness, which will meet regularly to implement the guidance regarding trade matters in the East Room Declaration of the Leaders of the Americas Partnership.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)




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