TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

USTR announces new enforcement priorities for GSP

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Source: United States Trade Representative

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced a new effort to ensure beneficiary countries are meeting the eligibility criteria of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference program. 

This new effort includes a heightened focus on concluding outstanding GSP cases and a new interagency process to assess beneficiary country eligibility.

This interagency process complements the current petition receipt and public input process for country practice reviews, which will remain unchanged. 

The new additional process will involve a triennial assessment by USTR and other relevant agencies of each GSP beneficiary country’s compliance with the statutory eligibility criteria.  If the assessment of a beneficiary country raises concerns regarding the country’s compliance with an eligibility criterion, the Administration may self-initiate a full country practice review of that country’s continued eligibility for GSP. 

The first assessment period will focus on GSP beneficiary countries in Asia.  The Trump Administration will assess GSP beneficiary countries in other parts of the world in the second and third years of this process.

"Countries receiving U.S. trade benefits must meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.  “By creating a more proactive process to assess beneficiary countries’ eligibility, the United States can ensure that countries that are not playing by the rules do not receive U.S. trade preferences. This sets the correct balance for a system that helps incentivize economic reform in developing countries and achieve a level playing field for American businesses.”

Background

Under the GSP program, certain products from 120 beneficiary developing countries and territories can enter the United States duty-free.  In 2016, the total value of imports that entered the United States under GSP was $18.9 billion. 

To qualify for GSP, a beneficiary country must meet 15 eligibility criteria established by Congress, including respecting arbitral awards in favor of U.S. citizens or corporations, combating child labor, respecting internationally recognized worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the United States with equitable and reasonable market access.

For more information on the GSP program, visit the GSP page on the USTR website here.

For more information on AGOA's eligibility requirements, see here

Related News

President Trump updates trade preference program eligibility for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda

President Trump updates trade preference program eligibility for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda

The President determined today the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda for trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In response to a petition filed by the U.S. used clothing industry in March 2017, the Administration initiated an out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda’s AGOA eligibility regarding their decisions...

29 March, 2018
Trump extends targeted Zimbabwe sanctions

Trump extends targeted Zimbabwe sanctions

The United States has extended restrictive measures imposed on senior ruling Zanu PF officials and companies, which were set to expire this month. The extension was made in a notice signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, March 2, 2018, which stressed that the situation in Zimbabwe has not yet transformed following the removal of Robert Mugabe from power. “In...

02 March, 2018
US ambassador hails Gambia’s democratic progress

US ambassador hails Gambia’s democratic progress

The US ambassador to the Gambia, Patricia Alsup, has commended the Gambia for regaining its membership in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and for being selected for a smaller grant programme by the board of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Ms Alsup said these milestone achievements are significant achievements that recognise just...

28 December, 2017
US restores trade benefits to Gambia, Swaziland

US restores trade benefits to Gambia, Swaziland

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday restored trade benefits to Gambia and Swaziland under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said. [See text of Proclamation here] The AGOA trade program provides sub-Saharan countries duty-free access to the United States on condition they meet certain statutory eligibility...

23 December, 2017
Presidential Proclamation to take certain actions under the AGOA and for other purposes

Presidential Proclamation to take certain actions under the AGOA and for other purposes

In Proclamation 9223 of December 23, 2014, President Obama determined that the Republic of The Gambia (“The Gambia”) was not making continual progress in meeting the requirements described in section 506A(a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “Trade Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)), as added by section 111(a) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (the...

23 December, 2017