Bangladeshi exporters are among the highest tariff payers among the 232 exporting nations to the US as the North American country imposes substantial import taxes on apparel and footwear, according to findings by a Pew Research Center report
After analyzing data from the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the DC-based think tank found that Bangladesh and Vietnam export large volumes of clothes and shoes to the US, and those are the items the US taxes at disproportionately high rates.
According to the report, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam, and other such nations face the highest import duties in absolute figures, because of their substantial trade in clothing and footwear. For Bangladesh, tariffs were 15.2% of the value of all its shipments.
The US now imports more than 97% of its clothing.
Typically, items the US imports in large volumes face fairly low duties, but Pew has pointed out that clothes are the main exception. It also highlighted that sweaters generate more tariff revenue than any incoming product except personal cars.
“Nearly all Bangladeshi imports were subject to US duty,” reads the Pew report, “and the tariffs on them were equivalent to 15.2% of the total value of that country’s shipments to the US—the highest such average rate among the 232 countries, territories and other jurisdictions in the ITC database.”
In 2017, Bangladesh’s exports to the US totaled $5.7 billion, and 95% of them were clothes, shoes, headgear, and related items.
According to ITC, the reason for the high tariffs is protectionism.
Big brands, retailers, and the groups that represent them, such as the Footwear Retailers and Distributors of America, have battled against these duties for some time.