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Pakistan wants GSP for textiles and leather goods from the US

Pakistan wants the US give GSP access for its textile and leather goods. At present, the US gives GSP access to Pakistan allowing duty free and duty concession access to many products, not including textile and leather goods.

Pakistani textile and leather goods enter the US market only after paying between seven to 32 per cent customs duty which makes them uncompetitive against imports of other countries. Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producer in the world after China, India and the US. Despite having this advantage, Pakistan has been unable to compete with Bangladesh, a country that imports almost 95 per cent of its cotton.

One of the biggest problems for Pakistan is that its annual cotton production has dropped from about 15 million bales to just 10 million bales. As a result, the country imports cotton and this increases the cost of production. The textile industry contributes about 60 per cent to Pakistan’s total exports.

The European Union has granted Pakistan GSP Plus status till 2023. Pakistan and the EU have strong bonds in the areas of trade and investment. Pakistan sees the EU as a very important trading bloc. More than 80 per cent of Pakistan’s exports to the EU consist of textile and clothing.