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 59th largest goods trading partner with $5.4 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2012. Goods exports totaled $502 million; Goods imports totaled $4.9 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Bangladesh was $4.4 billion in 2012.
Bangladesh was the United States= 98th largest goods export market in 2012.
U.S. goods exports to Bangladesh in 2012 were $502 million, down 56.1% ($642 million) from 2011 but up 87% from 2002.
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2012 were: Cotton, Yarn and Fabric ($85 million), Machinery ($76 million), and Iron and Steel ($58 million), Electrical Machinery ($32 million),and Cereals (wheat) ($30 million).
U.S. exports of agricultural products to Bangladesh totaled $180 million in 2012. The leading categories were: cotton ($84 million), wheat ($29 million), and soybean meal ($11 million).
Bangladesh was the United States= 48th largest supplier of goods imports in 2012.
U.S. goods imports from Bangladesh totaled $4.9 billion in 2012, a 0.8% increase ($39 million) from 2011, and up 130% from 2002.
The five largest import categories in 2012 were: Woven Apparel ($3.3 billion), Knit Apparel ($1.0 billion), Miscellaneous Textile Products ($178 million), Headgear ($115 million), and Special Other) (returns) ($86 million).
U.S. imports of agricultural products from Bangladesh totaled $21 million in 2012. The leading category was Tobacco ($13 million).
The U.S. goods trade deficit with Bangladesh was $3.7 billion in 2011, a 0.4% increase ($14 million) over 2010.
Historical Trade Data
U.S. Goods Trade with Bangladesh (in billions of dollars)
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh (stock) was $227 million in 2011 (latest data available), up 15.2% from 2010.
There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's FDI in the United States (stock) was $4 million in 2011 (latest data available), up 33% from 2010.
The distribution of Bangladesh's FDI in the United States is not available.
NOTE: No services trade data with Bangladesh is available.