The upcoming change in the White House has opened a window of export opportunity for Bangladesh as the announcement of the Democrats for US economic recovery and a return to liberal world trade policy is likely to stoke global trade that was restricted during Trump’s regime causing a reduction of Bangladesh readymade garments export.
The conservative policies of the Trump administration have kept global trade with the US squeezed. Since taking the office, Donald Trump had taken the ‘America First’ policy affecting many countries in different ways. Besides, the trade war between America and China also raised some challenges for Bangladesh to export apparel. Among others, Trumps’ Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal had given Vietnam, Bangladesh’s major trade competitor, a considerable advantage which is why Bangladesh could export only five per cent of total US apparel import in 2017. Moreover, the outgoing Donald Trump administration allegedly put less importance on economic recovery and health issues during even the coronavirus crisis which compressed the US market.In contrast, the president-elect Biden has undertaken some steps which actually may benefit Bangladesh. The upcoming administration has vowed to recover the economy from this current situation. Once the domestic demand surges in the US, it will help boost Bangladesh’s exports there. Moreover, Joe Biden has announced not to return the TPP deal with eight countries including Vietnam that will also help create a level-playing field for Bangladesh to exports apparel to the US. In addition, scopes might be created to benefit from the disengagement from the ‘America First’ policy and some treaties linked to climate change and other areas.
Fortunately, both the countries seem interested in improving bilateral relations in recent years which is expected to further progress under the leadership of president-elect Biden. Taking full advantage of this situation, it is time for Bangladesh to take bilateral economic relations to the next level. Bangladesh to reap the opportunities provided by the change in the White House requires horizontal and vertical improvement of her production. We should focus on improving productivity, efficiency in production and export diversification to sustain the competition of the 21st century. Besides, our government should take steps to cease the GSP ban by fulfilling the conditions of the GSP facility.