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Policy & History

Overview

The United States recognized Bangladesh on April 4, 1972, in a press statement from Secretary of State William Rogers. In addition, Herbert Spivack, the principal U.S. officer in Dhaka, delivered a message from President Richard Nixon to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman informing him that the United States government wished to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level. Mujibur Rahman sent a letter to Nixon on April 9 in which he acknowledged the recognition accorded his country.

Diplomatic relations and the American Embassy at Dhaka were established on May 18, 1972, with Herbert D. Spivack as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. The first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary was Davis Eugene Boster, who presented his credentials on April 13, 1974.

U.S.-Bangladesh Relations

The United States and Bangladesh share a vision for an inclusive, secure, and prosperous future. Bangladesh has made significant progress toward a more prosperous and pluralistic society since its independence in 1971. Bangladesh’s economy has grown at 6 percent annually for more than two decades. Security cooperation continues to be an important element of bilateral ties. Since the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza apparel factory in 2013, Bangladesh has made progress in transforming its garment sector. The United States remains actively engaged in efforts to strengthen respect for labor rights and improve workplace safety. Despite significant development achievements, poverty remains a challenge as do infrastructure shortcomings, weak governance structures, and the need for greater investment in human capital. Bangladesh’s high population density compounds these challenges. The United States remains committed to partnering with Bangladesh to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, to supporting human rights and civil society.

The United States applauds Bangladesh’s generosity in hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees. The United States is the leading contributor of humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya crisis, having contributed nearly $2.4 billion to the region since the outbreak of violence in August 2017, including nearly $1.9 billion to assist Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Bangladesh’s largest foreign direct investor and largest export country destination.  Our countries have signed a bilateral investment treaty, as well as a bilateral treaty for the avoidance of double taxation.  In Fiscal Year 2022-23, U.S. direct investment in Bangladesh was $261 million. Our governments held the seventh annual Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) meeting in Dhaka on September 20, 2023, which highlighted the potential for greater cooperation with Bangladesh. Discussions at the TICFA meeting particularly focused on labor reforms, as well as policies impacting the investment climate and digital trade, intellectual property protection and enforcement, and bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector.

In 2023, the United States exported approximately $2.04 billion in U.S. goods to Bangladesh and imported approximately $7.72 billion worth of goods from Bangladesh.  U.S. exports to Bangladesh include agricultural products (grains, seeds, soybeans, cotton, wheat, and corn), machinery, and iron and steel products. U.S. imports from Bangladesh include apparel, footwear, and textile products, headgear, and agricultural products. (Source: United States Census Bureau).

Additional Information

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