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USTR Dismisses GSP Product Reviews, Accepts Country Petition, Launches 2011 Review

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced the following with respect to its annual reviews of the Generalized System of Preferences.

No CNL Actions from 2010 Review. Given the lapse in GSP authorization through much of 2011, there will be no actions taken in 2011 with respect to competitive need limitations, including no CNL-related removals of products from GSP eligibility and no redesignations of GSP-eligible products currently subject to CNL exclusions for specific beneficiary countries.

USTR is also dismissing the petitions it accepted in December 2010 requesting waivers of CNL-related exclusions for lysine and its esters from Brazil (HTS 2922.41.00), pneumatic tires from Sri Lanka (HTS 4011.93.80), certain rubber gloves from Thailand (HTS 4015.19.10) and calcium silicon ferroalloys from Argentina (HTS 7202.99.20).

Petition on Worker Rights in Georgia Accepted. USTR has accepted as part of its 2010 GSP review a petition alleging that the Republic of Georgia is violating the worker rights criteria. USTR notes that this is the only country practice petition accepted as part of the 2010 review.

USTR will hold a hearing on this petition Jan. 24, 2012. Pre-hearing briefs and requests to appear at the hearing are due no later than Jan. 10. All post-hearing briefs must be submitted no later than Feb. 14.

2011 Product and Country Practices Review Initiated. USTR is accepting petitions to modify the list of products eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP and to modify the GSP status of certain beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. Country practice petitions and product petitions other than those requesting CNL waivers are due by 5:00 p.m. Dec. 5. Petitions requesting CNL waivers are due by 5:00 p.m. Dec. 16.

Interested parties, including foreign governments, may submit petitions to (1) designate additional articles as eligible for GSP benefits, including only for countries designated as least-developed BDCs or only for countries designated as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act; (2) withdraw, suspend or limit the application of GSP duty-free treatment with respect to any article, either for all BDCs, LDBDCs or beneficiary SSA countries or any of these countries individually; (3) waive the CNL for individual BDCs with respect to specific GSP-eligible articles; or (4) otherwise modify GSP coverage.

Interested parties may also submit petitions to review the GSP eligibility of any BDC with respect to any of the eligibility criteria in 19 USC 2462(b) and (c).

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