Background

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has introduced legislation to update and reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences and the miscellaneous trade bill. Both GSP and the MTB expired Dec. 31, effectively increasing import duties on nearly 7,000 products.

According to a press release from Wyden’s office, the new bill would retroactively reauthorize GSP through Dec. 31, 2026. It would add new mandatory criteria (which beneficiary countries would have to meet to be eligible for GSP) concerning human rights and the environment and new discretionary criteria (which the president would take into account when designating countries as GSP beneficiaries) concerning the environment, women’s economic empowerment, rule of law, and digital trade. Other changes would include (1) updating the definition of “internationally recognized worker rights” to align with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and other trade agreements, (2) requiring regular country reviews, (3) adding transparency requirements for administrative decisions made under the program, and (4) requiring the International Trade Commission to study GSP utilization rates, rules of origin, and article eligibility rules.

The press release said the bill would also reauthorize the MTB to provide limited duty relief on certain manufacturing inputs and other imports that do not have significant domestic production and were recommended for tariff reductions by the International Trade Commission. This relief would be retroactive for four months and remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2023. In addition, the ITC’s authority to conduct the MTB petition, review, and recommendation process would be extended for two more cycles, the first beginning in 2022 and the second in 2025.

For more information on GSP and the MTB, please contact attorney David Olave at (202) 730-4960 or via email.

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