The trade deficit of Bangladesh with the US increased in the last financial year compared to that of the previous year, though exports to and imports from the US rose too over the period.
The Balance of Trade denotes the differences of imports and exports of a merchandise of a country during the course of a year. The trade balance is the calculation of a country's exports minus its imports.
In 2013- 2014 FY, the trade balance was $ US (+) 4782 million which was $ US (+) 4881.40 million in 2012-2013 FY and the export was worth at $US 5583.62 million and import was $ US 801.10 million in 2013- 2014 FY.
Bangladesh exports mainly shrimps, jute goods (including carpet), leather goods, tea and readymade garments including knitwear and hosiery to US and Bangladesh's main exports partners are United States (23% of the total), Germany, United Kingdom, France, Japan and India.
Most of the developed and developing countries allow duty-free access to all Bangladeshi products; the US, however, gives the privilege to only selected items such as tobacco, plastic goods, ceramic, table ware etc from Bangladesh, which, too,have remained suspended.
Garment products, which form the bulk of the country's export basket, do not get duty-free access to the US, they are subjected to 15.61 percent duty though the developed countries are given to duty and quota-free access to the LDC countries, according to the World Trade Organization.
Bangladesh which is a least developed country (LDC) is the second highest duty-paying country for the US. The status of Bangladesh in US market is 46th.
Bangladesh pay duty at 15.62 percent of tariff in exporting RMG products to the US while Vietnam only 8 percent, China 3.08 percent and India 2.29 percent and gave over $US 3.41 billion to US during the five-year period stretching from 2009 to 2013.
Bangladesh's apparel export to the US fell by 1.39 per cent to $2.45 billion in the first six months of 2014 and in the first six months of the current calendar year, the RMG export of Vietnam to the US market rose by 15.45 per cent to $4.28 billion from $3.71 billion in the same period of the last year, showed US Commerce Department data released recently.
The export of India to the US market increased by 5.89 per cent to $1.82 billion in the first six months of 2014 from $1.72 billion in the same period of last year.
According to the data, apparel export of China to the US market rose by 0.59 per cent to $12.39 billion in the first six months of 2014 from the same period last year.
Experts and exporters said that the tragic industrial incidents of Rana Plaza building collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire were behind the negative growth in the export to the US market.
Bangladeshi currency Taka is appreciating against US dollar while the Vietnam and India's currency are depreciating which makes Bangladeshi product costlier, expert said.