USTR - President Bush Extends Trade Benefits for Developing Countries
Office of the United States Trade Representative


President Bush Extends Trade Benefits for Developing Countries
Contact: Richard Mills/Marci Hilt | (202) 395-3230 07/01/2003

WASHINGTON - President Bush signed a proclamation today expanding the product coverage
of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, under which more than 140 beneficiary developing counties and territories import products duty-free into the United States. The President’s proclamation extends GSP benefits to approximately $900 million in imports from these countries through the addition of new products, restoration of previously lost benefits, and the continuation of benefits that would otherwise expire. The proclamation underscores the Administration’s commitment to providing trade opportunities to developing countries as a way to encourage broad-based economic development.

"The President’s action today provides immediate, expanded access to the U.S. market for developing countries, and demonstrates America’s commitment to promoting economic opportunity and hope in the developing world," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. "Trade preference programs like GSP are an important part of America’s global economic leadership, but such unilateral one-way programs should lead us over time to more open, extensive markets for all countries, developed and developing. The ongoing global trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Agenda offer a once in a generation opportunity to tear down barriers among all countries, and spur the kind of full economic integration that will be a catalyst for sustained global growth and development."

Today’s proclamation marks the conclusion of both the annual GSP program product review and a special review initiated to consider product requests from Argentina, the Philippines, and Turkey. The President’s action resulted in additional GSP benefits valued at more than $96 million for Argentina, $30 million for the Philippines, and $130 million for Turkey. In addition, the President acted on product petitions from Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Morocco, Thailand, and Uruguay, and either redesignated products or provided waivers for these and other countries on specific products, so that they continue to receive GSP benefits. The full list of actions will be published in the Federal Register and will be available on the USTR website today.

GSP was reauthorized last August as part of the Trade Act of 2002. Last year, imports valued at more than $17.5 billion entered the United States duty-free under this program.

The GSP program’s objective is to create trade opportunities for developing economies and to encourage broad-based economic development. The GSP program also encourages beneficiaries to eliminate or reduce significant trade barriers to goods, services, and investment; afford all workers internationally recognized worker rights; establish tough laws governing child labor; promote the fight against international terrorism; and provide adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights.

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