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TPP may hurt Bangladesh

Countries like Bangladesh and China stand to lose a huge amount of business if the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) comes through. Some of the signatories are: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the United States and Vietnam. TPP is a proposed agreement between 12 Asia-Pacific nations. It’s aimed at realising the vision of a free trade area in the Asia-Pacific and opening new trade and investment opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region.

This means countries like Bangladesh, excluded from TPP, will face high tariff barriers for their exports to the region. China would be the biggest loser, as it stands to miss out on business worth $2.09 billion a year. Although Bangladesh is not directly linked with the TPP, it will still be affected as some of the members of the deal are competitors of Bangladesh.

Vietnam, for instance, is a major competitor of Bangladesh for garment exports to the US market. Vietnam enjoys lower tariff, at 8.38 per cent, while Bangladesh pays 15.61 per cent duty on exports of garment items to the US market. If Vietnam enjoys duty-free benefit under the TPP, its competitiveness will increase further to the US market while Bangladesh's competitiveness will decline further.