Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

US non-committal on Pakistani hints about trade concessions

A three-day visit to Washington by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif concluded on October  23 with no firm commitment by the US on expanding bilateral trade ties.

Ahead of Sharif’s trip Pakistani business representatives had urged him to push for a bilateral free trade agreement and expanded import concessions for Pakistani goods. Business leaders said the US should act to allow increased imports from Pakistan in return for its “cooperation in the fight against terrorism”. They argued for an FTA and duty-free treatment for more Pakistani textiles and apparel goods. They argued this would increase Pakistani  employment and thus reduce the attractiveness of terrorist groups.

A White House fact sheet said Sharif “highlighted his keen interest in expanding bilateral trade and investment” during his talks with President Obama, and that U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman will invite his Pakistani counterpart to Washington to discuss the issue further

Sharif said nothing about the issue at a joint press conference prior to his departure.