Home News Ag Economics Ginning up a Market for U.S. Cotton in Bangladesh

Ginning up a Market for U.S. Cotton in Bangladesh

USDA Foreign Ag Service — For almost 50 years, Bangladesh required U.S. cotton be fumigated because of concerns about the boll weevil. Collaboration between USDA agencies and the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture resulted in amended import requirements, exempting the United States from the list of countries required to fumigate cotton upon arrival.

This is a significant trade win for American cotton as Bangladesh is the fifth-largest export market for U.S. cotton, with export values exceeding $339 million in 2023. This decision gins up a new chapter for U.S. cotton growers to expand their market access to Bangladesh. As one of the world’s top import markets for cotton, Bangladesh is a growth market with great potential for American cotton for years to come.

FAS worked diligently to improve perceptions of U.S. cotton and provide evidence that the boll weevil is not a serious threat to imports. Momentum spun up when FAS provided significant technical evidence on the near total eradication of the boll weevil back in 2021 to ease Bangladesh’s concerns over the pest. Following that, FAS spent two years meeting with Bangladesh officials, including a High-Level Economic Consultation and an Agriculture and Ease of Business meeting.

The Cotton Council International (CCI) continued bilateral efforts, bringing a Bangladesh delegation to visit U.S. cotton facilities and farmers in November 2022. The delegation witnessed the effectiveness of the Boll Weevil Eradication Program. Also, during the visit, the delegation learned about modern cotton harvesting and standardized ginning techniques while touring cotton fields, gins, and warehouses in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

This is an example of American farmers showcasing high quality agricultural products to an overseas market – a crucial element to growing American exports. U.S. cotton farmers not only utilize the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Boll Weevil Eradication Program to eliminate the pest, but the program also helps thousands of U.S. cotton growers become more competitive. Additionally, the CCI receives FAS Market Access Program funds to help grow overseas markets for American cotton growers.

This success is a testament to the continued efforts and nearly 22 years of engagement among the U.S. cotton industry, FAS, APHIS, and Agricultural Research Service officials, and the Government of Bangladesh to advocate for fair and open trade practices that benefit American farmers and businesses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *