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The U.S Senate has endorsed a Bill for duty-free quota-free (DFQF) entry of readymade garments, pashmina and leather products from Nepal.
Once the U.S President approves the Bill Nepalese products such as garments, pashmina and leather products will have zero-tariff access to the U.S market, as opposed to the current 16.5% tariff on import of cotton clothing.
The DFQF deal will be valid until December 9, 2025 and is expected to help revive the readymade garment industry, which is on the verge of collapse since the expiry of Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) in January 2005.
During the MFA, 90% of readymade garments produced in Nepal were exported to the U.S, representing a 20% share in total export.
Introduced in the U.S House in February 2015, the Bill is said to have received momentum after the devastating earthquakes of April and May that shattered the Nepalese economy, which had just emerged from a decade-long conflict. At its peak in 2001, there were over 400 apparel factories in Nepal, employing around 450,000.
Source: The Himalayan Times