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US move to cut trade privileges 'shocking': Bangladesh

Published on Jun 28, 2013 12:17 PM
 
People rescue garment workers trapped under rubble at the Rana Plaza building after it collapsed, in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka in this April 24, 2013 file photo. President Barack Obama on June 27, 2013 cut off longtime U.S. trade benefits for Bangladesh in a mostly symbolic response to dangerous conditions in that country's garment industry that have cost more than 1,200 lives in the past year. Bangladesh on Friday criticised a "shocking" decision by the United States to cut trade privileges in the wake of a deadly garment factory collapse, insisting it had taken concrete action to improve safety. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh on Friday criticised a "shocking" decision by the United States to cut trade privileges in the wake of a deadly garment factory collapse, insisting it had taken concrete action to improve safety.

"It cannot be more shocking for the factory workers of Bangladesh that the decision to suspend GSP comes at a time when the government of Bangladesh has taken concrete and visible measures to improve factory safety and protect workers' rights," a foreign ministry statement said.

The United States on Thursday announced it was removing duty-free trade which had been accorded to Bangladesh under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme, citing dangerous conditions for workers after more than 1,100 people were killed in a factory disaster in April.