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Dhaka Tribune

Savar tragedy to impact GSP decision: Mozena

Update : 25 Apr 2013, 04:45 AM

The tragic collapse of the apparel factory building in Savar would impact the decision on whether to allow Bangladesh the Generalised System of Preference facility in the US market or not, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena.

“It [the incident] certainly makes the environment one of questioning the workplace safety. I am sure it will have that impact,” Mozena told reporters after attending a programme on International Youth Environmental Meet 2013 at the EMK Centre in Dhanmondi on Thursday.

The collapse in Savar took place on the same day that Bangladesh had submitted its response to the ‘19 questions’ regarding the GSP issue to the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

More than 201 dead bodies and over a thousand injured people have so far been recovered from the rubble of the building that collapsed in Savar on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Commerce must answer 19 questions on garment worker rights, factory fire safety and trade union membership, in order to retain GSP benefits that currently allow duty-free imports from Bangladesh to the US.

Recognising the fact that Bangladesh has made significant progress in addressing the issues raised in the GSP petition, Mozena said there was still room for improvement.

“My effort will be to convey that to those who are making this decision of good understanding of the progress Bangladesh has made in addressing the issues raised in the GSP petition,” the US ambassador added.

Bangladesh has responded to all the 19 follow-up questions and the response was very thorough and timely, he said.  



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