The United States’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme was discontinued for 120 countries across the world, with effect from the 1st of January 2018. Sri Lanka is one of them.
This decision while not being country-specific, is one stemming from the US Congress simply not re-authorizing the programme before adjourning for the year 2017.
The United States is Sri Lanka’s top export market. In 2016, the US imported US$ 2.8 billion worth of Sri Lankan goods.
American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) expects 6.2 percent of these exports to be impacted by the discontinuation of the GSP programme.
“While recognizing that these particular goods will be affected by the rescinding of the GSP programme, AmCham is of the view that the overall impact on country’s total exports will be small,” AmCham said in a statement yesterday.
“We do recognize some of our members will be affected by the rescinding of the GSP programme; and as such, AmCham pledges its fullest support to its members and will work alongside relevant authorities with regard to this as well as to further improve bilateral trade, investments and relations, and to support the countries’ economic development by strengthening the business environment and stimulating foreign direct investments,” AmCham said.
The GSP programme, like many other U.S. trade preference programmes provides opportunities for many of the world’s low-income countries to use trade to grow their economies and alleviate poverty.
GSP is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference programme and was established by the Trade Act of 1974. GSP promotes economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 120 designated beneficiary countries and territories.