Sri Lanka has regained the United States Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) trade concession with US President Donald Trump signing the budget bill on Friday, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.
The US GSP program for Sri Lanka and other countries expired on December 31, 2017 as the US Congress did not re-authorize GSP before adjourning for the year.
The immediate effect of GSP expiration was that GSP eligible imports to the United States from Sri Lanka and other GSP beneficiary countries and territories were subject to non-preferential duties beginning January 1, 2018.
GSP alliance countries, including Sri Lanka, were lobbying for the renewal of the GSP program.
According to the Global Trade Atlas, in 2016, the United States imported $2.8 billion of Sri Lankan goods.
Nearly 3,500 different products from Sri Lanka had been eligible to access the US market on a duty free basis under the GSP program. The items include selected manufactured items, inputs used in manufacturing jewellery, carpets, selected agricultural and fishery products, and selected types of chemicals, minerals and marble. However, Sri Lanka’s largest single export item to the US, which is garments, is not eligible for benefits under the GSP program. (Colombo Gazette)