This decision while not being country-specific, is one stemming from the US Congress simply not re-authorizing the program before adjourning for the year 2017.
The United States is Sri Lanka’s top export market. In 2016, the US imported USD 2.8bn worth of Sri Lankan goods. The American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AmCham) says it expects 6.2% of these exports to be impacted by the discontinuation of the GSP program.
While recognizing that these particular goods will be affected by the rescinding of the GSP program, AmCham is of the view that the overall impact on the country’s total exports will be small.
“We do recognize some of our members will be affected by the rescinding of the GSP program; and as such, AmCham pledges its fullest support to it’s members and will work alongside relevant authorities with regards to this as well as to further improve bilateral trade, investments and relations, and to support the country’s economic development by strengthening the business environment and stimulating foreign direct investments,” AmCham said.
The GSP program, like many other U.S. trade preference programs 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 program 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.