In response to media reports the US Embassy said yesterday that they have incorrectly stated that the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) soon would be restored with retroactive respect. Congress has not voted on whether to renew GSP on a worldwide basis.
“GSP has lapsed in the past and historically Congress has renewed the benefits retroactively. Congress may renew GSP this calendar year, but the decision to approve GSP benefits must be taken by the U.S. Congress and it has not yet done so,” the Embassy said in a statement.
The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974. Congressional authorization of the GSP program expired on December 31, 2010.
GSP is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories, including Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka benefited from GSP treatment on approximately $147 million of goods in 2010. For more information on GSP, please se e the U.S. Trade Representative’s fact sheet: http://www.ustr.gov/webfm_send/2465