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President Obama, Bangladesh Has Faced Enough Tragedy, Don’t Take Away Jobs, Too
Posted By Ryan Olson On May 20, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Economics | Comments Disabled
Since late last year, workers in Bangladesh have been beset by tragedy after tragedy. First there was a factory fire that killed over 100  garment workers in November. Then last month a garment complex collapsed, killing over 1,000 people .
Now, as if to add insult to injury, the Obama Administration is threatening to raise U.S. tariffs  on products that we buy from Bangladesh. In a proposed regulation , the U.S. Trade Representative, based on input from the AFL-CIO, is suggesting tariffs be increased on imported goods from Bangladesh to punish the country for its poor labor practices. Bangladesh currently enjoys duty-free tariffs  on some items under the General System of Preference (GSP), which grants tariff breaks to poor developing countries in order to encourage economic development.
This is bad policy. GSP imports from Bangladesh account for less than 1 percent  of all imports from Bangladesh. In addition, GSPs for Bangladesh cover mostly agricultural goods. This will hurt the country’s most vulnerable by limiting farmers’ access to U.S. to markets. Rural Bangladeshis earn 57 percent less  than their urban counterparts, and $10 per month less than the soon to be increased minimum wage of $38 per month.
Any tariff increases in general would be deleterious  to the Bangladeshi economy. Tariffs increase the cost of exporting, ultimately eliminating jobs. This would put the very workers U.S. lawmakers are trying to protect out of jobs and make needed regulatory improvements even less likely.
These tragedies are horrific, but let’s not add insult to injury by taking away jobs from Bangladesh’s most vulnerable.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/05/20/president-obama-bangladesh-has-faced-enough-tragedy-dont-take-away-jobs-too/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Bangladesh130506.jpg
 killed over 100: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1125/More-than-100-die-in-garment-factory-fire-the-deadliest-in-Bangladesh-s-history
 killing over 1,000 people: http://news.yahoo.com/bangladesh-collapse-search-over-death-toll-1-127-122554495.html
 is threatening to raise U.S. tariffs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-may-strip-bangladesh-of-tariff-breaks/2013/05/16/12e7ea0e-be42-11e2-9b09-1638acc3942e_story.html
 proposed regulation: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=USTR-2012-0036
 currently enjoys duty-free tariffs: http://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?objectId=09000064811b07a3&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf
 account for less than 1 percent: http://www.braumillerschulz.com/ustr-seeks-comment-on-withdrawal-of-gsp-for-bangladesh/
 earn 57 percent less: http://www.bbs.gov.bd/WebTestApplication/userfiles/Image/HIES-10/Final%20All%20table.pdf
 would be deleterious: http://www.ti-bangladesh.org/index.php/press-release/815-tib-concerned-over-us-law-makers%E2%80%99-initiative-to-review-of-bangladesh%E2%80%99s-duty-free-access-calls-for-playing-their-own-role-in-ensuring-ethical-business
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