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Developing Countries Call on U.S. Congress to Renew GSP Program

Friday, June 14, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A group of 15 developing countries receiving preferential duty treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences are urging House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to extend this trade preference program beyond its scheduled expiration date of July 31, 2013. In a June 11 letter the Alliance of GSP Countries, which includes Algeria, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Fiji, Georgia, Indonesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and Yemen, called on Camp to secure long-term renewal of the GSP to avoid a significantly adverse impact to exporters, workers, families and communities in developing countries.

The letter warns that if Congress allows the GSP to lapse or if the program is extended only for a short period of time any certainty would disappear and the program’s benefits would be “seriously undermined” because “investors and businesses require a predictable environment regarding the duty treatment of their products.” According to the Alliance of GSP Countries, when Congress last considered the GSP for renewal in 2010 the program lapsed for 10 months and U.S. imports of GSP-eligible products went down by more than 17% during that time while overall imports rose 15%.

Inside U.S. Trade cited Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes this week as saying that Congress is not likely to renew GSP before its scheduled expiration due to a crowded legislative schedule and the need to reach a workable agreement with the Senate. 

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