US trade preference program to expire soon: How SL is affected

The United State’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program expires on December 31, 2017. GSP provides opportunities for many of the world’s small countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.

It is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. Established by the Trade Act of 1974, it promotes economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 120 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

According to the U.S. Embassy, Congress did not re-authorize GSP before adjourning this year.

The immediate effect of GSP expiration is 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.

According to the Global Trade Atlas, in 2016, US imported 2.8 billion dollars worth Sri Lankan goods.

Furthermore, the U.S. embassy stated that the US is proud to serve as the top export market for Sri Lanka.

The US Customs and Border Protection’s has dedicated a page on its website with detailed information on importation procedures during a program lapse.

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