US companies details Bangladesh safety pact

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A group of 17 U.S. retailers and clothing makers have agreed to a five-year safety pact aimed at improving conditions at Bangladesh factories that calls for inspecting all factories that supply their garments within a year.

They're also agreeing to set up basic safety standards within three months.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. companies including Wal-Mart, Gap and Target have provided a total of $42 million so far in funding and will offer an additional $100 million in loans to help factories improve safety.

The accord comes as many U.S. retailers have faced pressure for not joining a group of 72 mostly European retailers in signing a pact that they believe exposes them to unlimited liability.

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