Written by Staff Writer
30 Dec, 2017 | 5:41 am
The U.S. Embassy issued a press release on Friday, December 29, stating that Sri Lanka’s US GSP programme will expire on December 31, 2017 – that is on Sunday.
The immediate effect of the GSP expiration is that GSP eligible imports to the United States from Sri Lanka, and other GSP beneficiary countries and territories, will be subject to non-preferential duties from January 1, 2018.
Further, it was noted that 122 countries, including Sri Lanka, will lose the United States GSP concession by December 31, as the US Congress had not re-authorized the GSP before adjourning for the year.
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries.
The programme was authorized by the US Trade Act of 1974, to promote economic growth in the developing countries, and was implemented in 1976.
The current GSP scheme was approved by the US Congress in June 2015 after it had earlier expired on July 13, 2013.
The 2015 GSP re-authorization will expire on December 31, 2017 and 122 countries including Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Maldives, Pakistan and the Philippines will lose access to the GSP concessions.
Both the Office of the United States Trade Representative as well as the US Customs and Border Protection Agency state that similar situations have occoured in the past, and usually the GSP programme is reactivitated when Congress reconvenes.
The United States is one of Sri Lanka’s top exporters, accounting for 27% of the exports originating from Sri Lanka or $2.8bn worth of exports.
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