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USTR Ron Kirk Welcomes Extension of GSP and ATPA Programs

Washington, D.C. -- Today USTR Ron Kirk issued the following statement on the extension of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) programs:

"I thank President Obama and Congress for extending the GSP and ATPA programs. These important programs create good jobs for our economy while helping to alleviate global poverty. The market opening resulting from GSP and ATPA has helped to make the United States one of the world's most open economies to products of developing countries," said Ambassador Kirk. "GSP and ATPA have provided mutually beneficial outcomes. Under the programs, the United States is working with developing countries to increase their participation in the global trading system and ensure a diversity of choices and lower costs for the American people."

Background:

President Obama has signed legislation that extends the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program for one year. The GSP is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for about 4,800 products from 131 designated beneficiary countries and territories. GSP was instituted on January 1, 1976 by the Trade Act of 1974. The United States benefits from the GSP program through cost savings in addition to the direct and indirect jobs associated with moving aggregate GSP imports from the docks to farmers, manufacturers and ultimately to retail shelves. In 2005, those jobs totaled nearly 82,000. For more details visit: http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2009/december/gsp-....

The legislation signed by President also extends for a year the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) program, which applies to imports from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The ATPA program is designed to encourage trade with the Andean region in order to help those countries combat the scourge of narcotics production and trafficking.