She said it is morally reprehensible for big multinational firms, who can afford to pay, to back out of their contracts amid the coronavirus crisis
British lawmaker Rushanara Ali has written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for International Trade urging them to lead efforts to protect global trade and supply chains.
The letter highlighted the damage caused by multinational Western firms backing out of business contracts and its impacts on Bangladesh.
It included the example of the readymade garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh, where $3.7 billion worth of orders have been cancelled already.
A total of £2.4 billion of these contracts are from UK-based retailers, including ASDA, New Look, Edinburgh Woollen Mills, Peacocks, Sports Direct and Urban Outfitters.
“In addition, Bangladesh is the world's largest producer of garments and textiles after China. If this supply chain collapses, then the world's capacity to produce PPE will be damaged," said Rushanara Ali, MP, reports UNB.
“The UK must lead efforts to ensure that global trade and supply chains are protected," she said.
Rushanara Ali urged the UK government to take necessary steps to support those British companies that are struggling to stay afloat, so they are able to fulfill their obligations to suppliers. "In doing so, this will protect those who work to supply our UK high-street goods."
She said it is morally reprehensible for big multinational firms, who can afford to pay, to back out of their contracts.
"In doing so, they’re putting millions of workers and their families at risk of starvation. Their actions are potentially destabilising countries and damaging the prospect of recovery from a global recession," said Rushanara Ali, reports UNB.
The coronavirus pandemic has sent global markets into turmoil and the detrimental impact on the global economy continues to evolve at an unprecedented speed.
Global supply chains have been disrupted, local economies have been wrecked by businesses collapsing, and millions have lost their jobs, according to a message received from Rushanara Ali’s office on Monday.
Those countries with developing economies will be hit the hardest.
On March 31, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) reported that 25 percent of garment workers (around 1 million) had lost their jobs or had been dismissed without pay, the message reads.
The Bangladesh government has had to step in and provide the factories with loans to finance, as some multinational firms have failed to honour their contracts, and have not paid what they owe.