Following the Tazreen fire where Walt Disney Co. branded clothing was found, the company in March added Bangladesh to a list of countries where it prohibits any of its clothing or merchandize from being produced.
The Bangladeshi garment association met earlier this week with representatives of 40 garment buyers including H&M, JC Penny, Gap, Nike, Li & Fung and Tesco. It said the companies have doubts about whether the industry can meet their production deadlines because of the disasters and political turmoil.
"The reality is that buyers are seriously thinking about their sourcing from Bangladesh," said Jenefa Jabbar, regional director of JC Penny, according to a garment association statement.
"Bangladesh government has laws, but there is no implementation of those laws. Buyers' community wants to see credible action," she was quoted as saying.
The retailers themselves are criticized by labor groups for allegedly shoveling blame and making token efforts to ensure worker safety.
A report by the AFL-CIO umbrella group of American unions published a day before the building collapse says retailers' intermittent factory inspections and corporate social responsibility reports have failed, and hold "eerie parallels" with the financial self-regulation that helped precipitate the global financial crisis.
The Bangladesh government, however, may be the least willing of all to accept any responsibility.
"I am not worried," Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said Friday. "These are individual cases of ... accidents. It happens everywhere."
Wright reported from Bangkok. Associated Press writers Rob Gillies in Toronto and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.