The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC has said the political context of the US "Presidential Memorandum on Advancing Worker Empowerment, Rights, and High Labor Standards Globally" has many "reasons to be alarmed".
"Politics is behind what is said about labor rights in the memorandum, and the US would try to use the political purpose in different ways," said the embassy in a letter based on observation it made on the recently launched US initiative.
Therefore, the "memorandum" is a signal for Bangladesh as the US may take any measure as described in the memorandum with the excuse of labor issues, the document seen by UNB reads.
"The memorandum may also have an impact on Bangladesh's apparel sector, and it should be taken into cognizance with priority by the concerned stakeholders," it said.
The report on an initial compiled report on the "Memorandum on advancing worker empowerment, rights and high labour standards globally" issued by the US president and launched by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was also forwarded.
Though the "memorandum" appears to be a global policy applicable for all countries, there are reasons to believe that Bangladesh may be one of the targets, said the embassy.
Labor issues in Bangladesh were specifically quoted by the secretary of state and acting secretary of labor at the launching ceremony.
As per the "memorandum", the US foreign mission would directly interact/deal with labor issues, the policy may encourage the interested US diplomats/missions to interfere in many internal/ domestic issues.
"It seems that there are scopes for this policy to be imposed at individual, firm, or state level, if they anticipate/believe the labors' rights are violated," reads the document signed by the Minister (Commerce) at the Embassy to the senior secretary at the Ministry of Commerce.
The US Presidential Memorandum was rolled out on November 16.
The United States said they will work to “hold accountable those who threaten, intimidate, attack union leaders, labor rights defenders, labor organizations – including using things like sanctions, trade penalties and visa restrictions” – all the tools in their kit.