Sunday, 14 July, 2024, Reg No- 06
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US to hear alleged unhealthy competition in BDs garment pricing

Published : Friday, 8 March, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 173

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is going to hold a hearing on Bangladesh apparels to see whether a recent rise in prices of garment items sourced from here had anything to do with unhealthy competition.

The USITC found that prices that the US paid for each unit of Bangladeshi garments had recently exceeded the average of the prices paid by America for garments sourced from different countries.

This prompted the agency to open an investigation to find out whether any anti-competitive incident is taking place.

The USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency that fulfils a range of trade-related mandates, according to its website.

President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Faruque Hassan is going to virtually attend the hearing on March 11.

The prices rose mainly due to adjustments brought about by American clothing retailers and brands to compensate for an increase in raw material and shipping costs during and after the pandemic, he said.

The price per unit is rising at a moderate pace since 2017 while that offered by China has declined, the BGMEA chief said. The unit price offered by Bangladesh is currently $3.23, compared to $1.86 and $2.95 for China and Pakistan respectively, he said. Given that Bangladesh still largely manufactures basic items, the average price level is well above the global average import price per unit paid by US, he said.

Hassan also said recent geo-political tensions have added woes to global supplies, which were already struggling and to the demand dynamics of diesel prices, resulting in record hikes. "In recent years, our cost of production has gone up exorbitantly. Price of electricity has risen by 25 percent, gas by 286.5 percent, diesel by 68 percent, and similar impacts on transport and other factors are notable," he said.

Inflation has pushed cost of finance further, leading to increased cost of production and cost of goods, he added.

Also, banking charges and municipality and city corporation fees, including different registration and certification fees, have significantly increased, said Hassan.

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