currently provides preferential treatment to products from Least Developed
Countries (LDCs) through various preferential programs, such as the tremendously
successful African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Carribean Basin
Initiative (CBI), the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), and “GSP-plus”
for least developed countries.
overall are already eligible for duty-free access to the
83% of the 10,265 tariff lines in the
tariff schedule. LDC’s covered by
AGOA and CBI are eligible for duty-free access on up to 91% of the tariff lines
in the U.S.
results of the Hong Kong Ministerial included a political commitment to provide
duty-free/quota-free market access to products from LDCs.
political commitment is to provide duty-free/quota-free market access for at
least 97 percent of tariff lines.
Ministers also agreed to take steps to progressively expand beyond 97
percent– but to take into account any impact on other developing countries at
similar levels of development as LDCs.
agreed that Members would implement the initiative coincident with the
implementation of the results of the negotiations under the Doha Development
Agenda. Members may also implement
also agreed that implementation of this political commitment would be
accomplished on an autonomous basis, through their respective preferential trade
regime, such as the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences.