Bangladesh held its first elections in 7 years, in December 2008 and the Awami League won a landslide victory in these elections. The new Government of Bangladesh (GOB) is headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bangladesh’s economy has averaged a growth rate of 6 percent over the last six years, with estimated growth of 5.6 percent in 2008. One of the most densely populated nations in the world, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP is approximately $525. Bangladesh is currently our 64th largest trading partner with $4.2 billion in total (two-way) trade during 2008. U.S. exports to Bangladesh totaled $468 million, while U.S. imports from Bangladesh totaled $3.7 billion, mainly apparel. The U.S. merchandise goods trade deficit with Bangladesh was $3.3 billion in 2008.
In 2008 and 2009, USTR officials met with high-level Bangladeshi officials to discuss market access, investment and labor-related issues. The United States has repeatedly raised concerns with the GOB regarding possible changes in rules that currently allow international shipping companies to operate as 100 percent foreign-owned companies in Bangladesh. U.S. officials have stated that such a policy would have a negative effect on foreign investment in Bangladesh by creating uncertainty and imposing increased costs on local apparel exporters. The United States and Bangladesh signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in July 1989.
In 2007, USTR accepted a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) country practice petition from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) regarding worker rights in Bangladesh. The petition alleged a number of worker rights issues in export processing zones, the ready-made garments sector, and the seafood processing sector. As part of this review, USTR has solicited public comments and held hearings on several occasions, most recently in January 2012. The review was ongoing as of December 2012.
U.S.-Bangladesh Trade Facts
Bangladesh is currently our 58th largest goods trading partner with $6.1 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2013. Goods exports totaled $712 million; Goods imports totaled $5.4 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Bangladesh was $4.6 billion in 2013.
Bangladesh was the United States' 90th largest goods export market in 2013.
U.S. goods exports to Bangladesh in 2013 were $712 million, up 41.9% ($210 million) from 2012 and up 215% from 2003.
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2013 were: Machinery ($121 million), Cotton, Yarn and Fabric ($106 million), Electrical Machinery ($63 million), Iron and Steel ($46 million), and Miscellaneous Grain, Seed, and Fruit (Soybeans) ($44 million).
U.S. exports of agricultural products to Bangladesh totaled $253 million in 2013. The leading categories were: cotton ($105 million), soybeans ($34 million), soybean meal ($31 million), and wheat ($25 million).
Bangladesh was the United States' 46th largest supplier of goods imports in 2013.
U.S. goods imports from Bangladesh totaled $5.4 billion in 2013, a 9.0% increase ($440 million) from 2012, and up 158% from 2003.
The five largest import categories in 2013 were: Woven Apparel ($3.7 billion), Knit Apparel ($1.2 billion), Miscellaneous Textile Products ($185 million), Headgear ($110 million), and Fish and Seafood (Shrimp and Prawn) ($59 million).
U.S. imports of agricultural products from Bangladesh totaled $19 million in 2013. The leading category was Tobacco ($11 million).
The U.S. goods trade deficit with Bangladesh was $4.6 billion in 2013, a 5.2% increase ($230 million) over 2012.
Historical Trade Data
U.S. Goods Trade with Bangladesh (in billions of dollars)
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh (stock) was $368 million in 2012 (latest data available).
There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's FDI in the United States (stock) was $5 million in 2012 (latest data available), up 25% from 2011.
The distribution of Bangladesh's FDI in the United States is not available.
*NOTE: No services trade data with Bangladesh is available.