Nazmul Ahsan US Congressman Joseph Crowley has warned Bangladesh government of unpalatable consequences, in terms of GSP facility, if it failed to take concrete actions on issues like workers' rights, TICFA signing and investigations into murder of labour leader Aminul Islam. US Congressmen, USTR (United States Trade Representative) and rights group -- are of the view that Generalised System of Preference (GSP) facility, now in place for nearly 95 per cent Bangladeshi products to the US market, should be reviewed due to Dhaka's failure to fulfil its commitments on workers' safety and their rights, signing of TICFA and investigation into Aminul Islam murder case, a top diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said. The situation might get worse as a section of US policymakers are serious about taking Bangladesh out of GSP list due to the government's persistent negative stance on signing of Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) on labour issues, the diplomat added, referring to a recent diplomatic communication made from the Bangladesh mission in Washington after Tazreen Fashions tragedy. Apathy of the government to investigate the murder of labour leader Aminul Islam also has given signal to the US lawmakers about the country's lax attitude to uphold workers' rights, another senior trade diplomat said. Twelve US Democrat lawmakers recently had called for quick review of Bangladesh's GSP facility to USTR after devastating fire at Tazreen garment in Savar that claimed 112 lives. Following the move of the US lawmakers, the Commerce Ministry in a letter urged the US to continue granting duty-free access for Bangladeshi products under the GSP scheme saying the government is taking adequate measures to improve the safety situation in the garment industry. "The situation is increasingly becoming fluid as US stakeholders are of the view that Dhaka's repeated disapproval of labour clauses in the draft of TICFA only points to the country's refusal to ensure labour standards, including fire safety in the apparel industry," the senior diplomat in the MoFA told the FE. Referring to the recent communication, the diplomat said, "Our mission is of the view that we should not be rigid on labour issues included in the draft bilateral agreement between Dhaka and Washington for brighter trade prospects with the largest economy in the world." The communication was made by Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Akramul Quader to MoFA following his meeting with Mr Crowley, the founder and co-chairman of Bangladesh Caucus in the US House of Representatives. "Congressman Crowley candidly mentioned that some members in the House were serious about taking Bangladesh out of the GSP list and this was not prompted by recent fire only. It was a culminating result of many other issues like violation of workers' rights, lack of progress in investigation into the murder of labour leader Aminul Islam, non- signing of TICFA, which as they viewed as a backtracking of Bangladesh from fulfilling its commitments on these issues,' the communication reads. "The Congressman, however, urged the GoB to take concrete actions leading to positive developments on these issues. Otherwise, the situation at US end may turn worse and the crises will continue to grow'. Akramul suggested the MoFA 'to take bold steps to improve labour compliance including safety along with resolving other outstanding issues like death of Aminul Islam, TICFA etc. The signing of much-talked-about TICFA has been stalled for the last three years as Dhaka insists on softening labour issues included in the draft, which the US denied. The USTR Office sought to include words like "freedom of association of workers, effective recognition of workers' right to engage in collective bargaining, elimination of child labour as well as discrimination in respect of employment and occupation," a top trade official said. On the contrary, Dhaka has been pressing Washington to replace words such as "to protect the fundamental labour rights, adherence to ILO (International Labour Organisation) conventions and internationally recognised practices on labour issues", instead of freedom of association of workers and their right to engage in collective bargaining. President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) said all-out efforts have been taken to identify non-compliant factories and get the standards improved in terms of safety and other labour related issues. "We are serious and very much in the action," Mohiuddin told the FE on Tuesday. He said BGMEA with the technical cooperation of BUET and Fire Service Department have started visiting factories to improve their safety standards. Besides, training programmes for relevant garment staffs to ensure safe environment in their factories have been taking place for the last couple of weeks, he added.