USA losing its interest in trade with Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistan with human rights issues, dismal labour conditions and tensed religious situations is trying to secure a General System of Preferences (GSP) favour from the United States
Reportedly, the US is planning to expand the scope of its GSP program and many Asian countries including Pakistan have enhanced their diplomatic outreach for securing the benefits.
Several local and international NGOs keep on issuing poor report cards to Islamabad on worker conditions including bonded labour, child protection, women’s rights, and human trafficking, Geopolitica.info reported.
Notably, Pakistan is already facing heavy compliance challenge as a beneficiary of a similar incentive provided by the European Union under its GSP plus scheme.
EU is about to include six fresh conventions in the new scheme, which may be difficult for Pakistan to comply with and implement. Response from the US on regular trade and investment proposals of Pakistan is not encouraging either.
Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khan reportedly held an informal discussion in June 2022 with senior officials of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) for advancing Pakistan’s case on GSP and other trade issues.
Despite it, the US side was quite firm and particular on its expectations out of such proposals.
This includes the proposal of organizing a long pending meeting of Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) council. The USTR officials apparently insisted on the need to hold a virtual seminar on Good Regulatory Practices (GRP); a Virtual convention on Supply Chain management and diversification; and crafting a joint statement on Women Empowerment before that, Geopolitica.info reported.
Surrounded by the challenges of rising international debt, high domestic inflation and dwindling foreign reserves, Pakistan’s economy requires a major push for its economic growth, the media reports said.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Pakistan will receive USD 1.7 billion tranches in the coming three to six weeks, after reaching the staff-level agreement earlier this week.
The World Bank has approved USD 200 million to spur agricultural growth in Pakistan’s Punjab province amid the dwindling economy of the country.