DHAKA: The bilateral trade in goods between Bangladesh and the United States (US) declined slightly in the last calendar year, according to the latest statistics of the US Census Bureau.
It shows, both the import from Bangladesh to the US and export from the US to Bangladesh declined in 2016.
Bangladesh’s import from the US declined to $895 million in the year which was $943 million in the previous year, according to the updated US trade statistics.
On the other hand, US import from Bangladesh (or Bangladesh’s export to the US) declined to US$5,912.30 million last year from $5,991.30 million in 2015.
Thus, the bilateral merchandise trade dropped to $6,807.67 million last year than that of $6,933.84 million in 2015.
Donald Trump, new president of the US, has initiated conservative trade policy as soon as he assumed office in January this year by pulling out his country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. He vowed to do so during his election campaign last year.
The decline in bilateral trade, however, couldn’t be attributed to Trump’s move towards conservative trade policy at this stage.
Due to decline in trade, US customs collected $901.84 million in duties on the total value of products imported from Bangladesh in 2016, which was $911.60 million 2015, according to the latest statistics available with the USITC data web.
As a result, the average rate of import tariff on Bangladeshi products stood at 15.25 per cent last year.
Bangladesh has long been urging the US administration to allow tariff-free market access. But the US has so far continuously denied it while not full-filling the obligation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s apparel export to the United States (US) dropped marginally last year, according to the latest statistics of the Office of Textile and Apparel (OTEXA).
It showed the value of apparel import from Bangladesh by the US stood at $5.30 billion in 2016 than that of $5.40 billion in 2015, showing 1.8 per cent fall.
In fact, except Vietnam, all the top 10 apparel exporting countries faced downward trend in exports last year.