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Recent trends of US-Bangladesh relations

Mehjabin Bhanu
10 Jan 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 10 Jan 2023 00:28:43
Recent trends of US-Bangladesh relations

The USA has recently shown a strong interest in improving bilateral ties. Bangladesh likewise wants to improve and strengthen its relationship with the US. According to analysts, the US aims to have more than just bilateral ties with Bangladesh. Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, voiced hope for closer ties with Bangladesh. the American ambassador to Bangladesh. One of Bangladesh’s closest allies and development partners is the United States. Particularly since the present administration came to power in 2009, the political, economic, and trade ties between the two nations have improved. The United States is also among the most significant nations when it comes to Bangladesh’s diplomatic interests. The United States has made a particularly substantial contribution to the socioeconomic growth and investment of Bangladesh, as well as its security cooperation.

One of the advisors (special assistants) to US President Joe Biden and senior director for South Asia affairs of the White House’s National Security Council, Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher, arrived in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon as part of a series of political visits. She was accompanied by a senior US defense delegation. During their visit, various topics of bilateral cooperation will be covered. Rohingya repatriation will be a key topic of discussion, along with the enhancing of defense cooperation and relaxing of sanctions on RAB. Beginning on Sunday is the US delegation’s official visit.

When she was the Special Assistant to the US President, Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher recently met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Donald Lu, who was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021, is anticipated to start his tour to Bangladesh on that date.

Donald Lu, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, will be visiting Bangladesh, and Momen said it is excellent news. “In this regard, he is similar to a policymaker. He is welcome here. “Our relationship with the US is excellent. With the US, we engage in many different activities. When he (Donald Lu) arrives, there will be discussions on a variety of topics. Additionally, he anticipated that Donald Lu’s visit would help solidify the positive ties between the two nations. In response to a query from the media regarding the US sanctions on RAB, the minister remarked that there are many factors that influence bilateral relations. “The US is both our largest investor and consumer. We don’t have to be concerned about just one problem because we are engaged in other areas. We have the same morals and beliefs. He claimed that in addition to Bangladesh, the US wanted a democratic system. The US is committed to defending human rights. We also desire it. Three million Bangladeshis have given their lives in the name of human rights, justice, and democracy, he continued. “We’ll discuss a variety of topics. It is ajar. There will be a lot of topics covered.

President of the United States Joe Biden recently stated that his nation recognizes their long-standing collaboration with Dhaka and called Bangladesh’s economic success over the past 50 years a “amazing narrative.” “I hope that our countries would keep tackling issues like climate change, refugees, and maritime security.” We care about your achievement and support everyone’s right to freely take part in and contribute to the growth of their nation, he said. At the White House, the US president made the comments as he accepted Muhammad Imran’s credentials as the country’s new ambassador from Bangladesh.

In his written remarks, Biden said, “I would like to celebrate our continuing cooperation with Bangladesh as 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of US-Bangladesh ties.” Biden welcomed the incoming Bangladeshi ambassador to the United States and expressed his administration’s eagerness to work with him to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations. Additionally, Biden promised the ambassador from Bangladesh that he would offer all kinds of cooperation while he was a US citizen.

He went on to say that Bangladesh had become a crucial partner on matters relating to maritime security, international trade and investment, climate change, humanitarian aid, refugee crises, United Nations peacekeeping, and counterterrorism. According to Biden, Bangladesh has developed its mostly agrarian economy into a regional economic power that is well-positioned to play a significant role in global supply chains.

The US president expressed gratitude to Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting nearly one million Rohingyas and pledged to support Bangladesh in helping these refugees and their host communities and defending their rights. He declared, “The United States is dedicated to finding long-term, reliable solutions to this humanitarian issue.” Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the US president stated that the country was pleased to collaborate with Bangladesh to combat the worldwide outbreak as part of the Covid-19 Global Action Plan. We are dedicated to growing our collaboration in the months and years to come, he said.

According to data gathered by the United States Department of Commerce through the first ten months of 2022, American orders for clothing made in Bangladesh are increasing faster than American imports from the world’s largest clothing manufacturer China.

According to the Office of Textiles and Apparels (OTEXA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States imported clothing from Bangladesh worth about $8.5 billion between January and October of last year, a 49 percent increase from imports of clothing made in Bangladesh during the same period in 2021.

The US, Bangladesh’s top export market, had an increase in garment shipments of almost 51% from the previous year. The nation shipped a record amount of clothes worth more than 7.5 billion US dollars in the first nine months of this year. It is noteworthy that Bangladeshi garment manufacturers are gaining a firm presence in the American market as exports have experienced considerable development. Despite the worldwide economic downturn, Bangladeshi clothing exports to the US have significantly increased.

“He is looking forward to maintaining the Bangladesh-US collaboration in the coming year (2023),” US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas stated. The greatest export market for Bangladesh is the United States, and U.S. companies in the apparel industry are increasingly listing Bangladesh as one of their top trading and investment partners, according to a recent statement from the Embassy.

“We value our business ties with Bangladesh, the eighth most populous nation in the world; its inclusion in U.S. commercial imports demonstrates the superiority of Bangladesh-made goods in the marketplace.”

The Rohingya problem has so far received the most support from the United States. The US Secretary of State announced an additional $170 million in humanitarian help during this year’s UN General Assembly. More than 190 million dollars have been donated by the nation to the Rohingya catastrophe since 2017.

The US wants to relocate Bangladeshi Rohingya. The US Department of State’s Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Immigration, Julieta Valls Noyes, visited Bangladesh for this reason last month. The US administration collaborating with the Bangladeshi government would be greatly appreciated. It will demonstrate improved communication between the two administrations. The western world and those who support those who advocate for humanitarian causes can follow the US footprint.

Looking 50 years into the future

However, Bangladesh is a crucial regional ally of the United States when it comes to humanitarian, economic, climatic, and security concerns. The United States and Bangladesh had many high-level engagements and strategic conversations in Dhaka and Washington, D.C., to expand bilateral, economic, commercial, and security cooperation as 2022 celebrated the 50th anniversary of U.S.-Bangladesh relations. It is in the US’ interest to foster a sense of growing interdependence with Bangladesh as it moves away from the sense of obligatory dependency that defined its relationship with the US in the previous 50 years, looking ahead to the future 50.

The writer is a freelance columnist. She can be contacted at [email protected]