WASHINGTON — Nine Democratic senators are urging President Barack Obama to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh until it improves worker safety.
The president is expected by month’s end to decide whether to curtail duty-free access for the South Asian nation because of labour rights concerns.
One of the senators, Sherrod Brown, said Obama should do everything in his power to prevent tragedies like the April collapse of a building in Dhaka that killed 1,127 people, mostly garment factory workers. It was the global industry’s worst disaster.
The senators sent a letter to Obama Tuesday. They propose establishing a roadmap and schedule for reinstating trade privileges based on improvements in worker safety and related labour law reforms.
Impoverished Bangladesh contends it is already making changes. The U.S. is its leading export market.