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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With Bangladesh


Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Fact Sheet
July 21, 2014

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More information about Bangladesh is available on the Bangladesh Page, U.S. Department of State publications, and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-BANGLADESH RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Bangladesh in 1972 following its independence from Pakistan. Bilateral relations are strong and reflect the bonds of shared values and common interests. The country’s efforts at development, countering violent extremism, assisting international peacekeeping, and improving regional connectivity are vital to regional and global stability. The U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue advances shared bilateral, regional, and global objectives and gives strategic direction to ongoing and future cooperative activities. The second U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue meeting, held in Dhaka May 26-27, 2013, covered a wide variety of topics: democracy and governance, trade and investment, security cooperation and regional integration. The third annual meeting is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

Bangladesh has made significant progress toward a more prosperous and pluralistic society since its independence in 1971. Bangladesh’s economy has grown at 6 percent annually for more than two decades. Since the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza, Bangladesh has made progress in transforming its garment sector, and the United States remains actively engaged in efforts to strengthen respect for labor rights and improve workplace safety. Despite significant development achievements, poverty remains a challenge. Infrastructure shortcomings, weak governance structures, and potential terrorist exploitation by extremist groups are also vulnerabilities. The fact that Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries compounds these challenges.

U.S. Assistance to Bangladesh

Bangladesh is the largest recipient of U.S. assistance in Asia outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan. U.S. assistance fosters engagement with the Government of Bangladesh and complements support from other donors to address the underlying social, demographic, and economic factors that threaten democratic governance, stifle economic growth, and increase vulnerability to extremism in Bangladesh. The United States continues to build upon previous gains to reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve health and education, mitigate the impact of climate change and natural disasters, and achieve better governance to spur equitable and sustainable growth.

Bilateral Economic Relations

U.S. exports to Bangladesh include agricultural products (cotton, wheat, dairy), aircraft, machinery, and iron and steel products. U.S. imports from Bangladesh include apparel, other textile products, headgear, shrimp and prawns, and agricultural products (primarily tobacco). The United States is Bangladesh’s largest export market. The two countries have signed a bilateral investment treaty, a bilateral treaty for the avoidance of double taxation, and the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA). Bangladesh provides several tax, foreign exchange, customs, and labor incentives to investors in its export processing zones. On June 27, 2013, President Barack Obama suspended Bangladesh’s designation as a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, citing Bangladesh’s inability to take steps to adopt internationally recognized workers’ rights. The decision to suspend Bangladesh’s designation came after a multi-year review by the U.S. Trade Representative. At the time of the suspension, the Obama administration provided an action plan to improve labor rights and regain GSP benefits.

Bangladesh's Membership in International Organizations

Bangladesh and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh is Dan W. Mozena; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Bangladesh maintains an embassy in the United States at 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-244-0183).

More information about Bangladesh is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Bangladesh Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Bangladesh Page
U.S. Embassy: Bangladesh
USAID Bangladesh Page
History of U.S. Relations With Bangladesh
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information



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