WASHINGTON, June 27 President Barack Obama is
expected to announce on Thursday that the United States is
suspending U.S. trade benefits for Bangladesh after two
tragedies in the past year in the country's garment sector that
have cost more than 1,200 lives, a congressional source said.
U.S. trade officials have said they expected Obama to
announce a decision on the matter by the end of June. The U.S.
Trade Representative's office did not have an immediate comment
on whether an announcement would come Thursday.
Suspending Bangladesh from the U.S. Generalized System of
Preferences program would increase U.S. duties on an array of
products the country exports to the United States, such as
tobacco, sporting equipment, porcelain china, plastic products
and a small amount of textile products.
But it would not directly affect Bangladesh's main export,
clothing, since garments are not eligible for duty cuts under
the GSP program, which was created in 1976 to help economic
development in the world's poorest countries and to reduce
import costs for U.S. companies.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Vicki Allen)