Bill on duty-free access will get through, says US Congressman

US Congressman Jim McDermott yesterday assured Bangladesh that a crucial bill meant to ensure duty-free access for the least developed countries to the US market would be passed in August.

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan and leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) briefly met McDermott at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. He was on his way to Bangkok.

McDermott tabled the New Partnership for Development Act in the US House of Representatives in 2007 for the first time in its 110th Congress.

Later, he renamed the bill and tabled it in the 111th Congress as New Partnership for Trade and Development Act 2009, which is now under observation by the US Congress House Ways and Means Committee.

McDermott suggested Bangladesh uphold the country's image as a moderate Muslim country to the US Congress House Ways and Means Committee.

Talking to The Daily Star, BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy said a high-powered business delegation is scheduled to visit the US shortly to follow up on the bill.

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