Visit Follows Recent U.S. Expansion of Argentine GSP Access worth $126 Million
WASHINGTON - A team from the Office of the United States Trade Representative will lead private-sector seminars in Argentina and Uruguay the week of September 9 to explain how the two countries can maximize special trade benefits in light of the current economic difficulties they face. The special trade benefits are within the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a U.S. preference program that promotes economic development in 150 developing economies by providing duty-free access to U.S. markets for certain products.
The trip follows an August 28th Presidential Proclamation that redesignated GSP benefits for Argentina for 57 products that accounted for over $126 million in exports to the United States in 2001.
"The GSP program demonstrates American leadership in helping countries build the internal conditions for economic growth and opportunity. Increased access to the U.S. market promotes economic development and better jobs in developing countries while benefiting American consumers through lower prices and increased choices," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. "I'm pleased that we are able to quickly follow the President's announcement by sending some of our staff to explain to Argentine and Uruguayan businesses how to fully participate in the GSP program."
The products range from leather goods to non-sensitive agricultural products to industrial chemicals. The USTR team will promote increased use of the GSP program through a series of seminars with private enterprises. Under the GSP program, Argentina's exports to the United States totaled about $200 million annually, while Uruguay's totaled $80 million.
The GSP program, established in 1974, offers duty-free access to the U.S. market for a range of products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries. In 2001, products worth approximately $16 billion were imported into the United States under the program. There are 152 GSP-eligible developing economies (countries, territories and associations of countries).
The GSP program is an important element of U.S. efforts to increase economic development through the expansion of trade opportunities. The enactment of the Trade Act of 2002, which renewed the GSP program and which included Trade Promotion Authority, empowers the United States to continue moving ahead with trade liberalization globally, through the Doha Round of WTO trade negotiations; regionally, through the pursuit of a Free Trade Area of the Americas; and bilaterally, through free trade agreements with such countries as Chile and Singapore.
The 57 Argentine products announced for redesignation had previously been covered by the GSP program, but had been removed for reaching a statutorily defined threshold level of market share. By being redesignated, the products will enjoy full duty-free access to the U.S. market.
In seminars throughout Argentina and in Uruguay, the USTR team will explain how Argentine and Uruguayan industry can make better use of the GSP program and provide information on the several thousand products on which GSP benefits are available, the statutory requirements for the program, and the annual GSP review process to improve the program. In addition to Buenos Aires, the team will visit Cordoba, Mendoza, Salta and Rosario in Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.
Also on August 28, USTR announced in the Federal Register that it would accelerate the review of petitions from Argentina, the Philippines, and Turkey for additions to the list of products eligible for GSP duty-free treatment.
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