Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Initiation of Reviews and Request for Public Comments
Legislation authorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program expires on December 31, 2006. In connection with Congress' consideration of reauthorization of the program, the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) requested public comments on October 6, 2005, relating to whether the Administration's operation of the program should be changed so that benefits are not focused on trade from a few countries and that developing countries that traditionally have not been major traders under the program receive benefits. Based on information obtained thus far, the TPSC has decided to initiate a further review and request additional comments to determine whether major beneficiaries of the program have expanded exports or have progressed in their economic development within the meaning of the statute to the extent that their eligibility should be limited, suspended, or withdrawn, pursuant to section 502(d) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)). For the purpose of identifying beneficiary countries that are subject to this review and on which we are seeking comments, the TPSC looked at a country's total volume of trade under the GSP program, the World Bank's classification of the country's level of income, and the country's share of world goods exports. The TPSC is also conducting a review of existing competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers and requesting comments on whether any waivers should be terminated, pursuant to section 503(d)(5) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(5)), because they are no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. All public comments must be received by September 5, 2006.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Request for Public Comments on the Possible Withdrawal or Suspension of GSP Benefits With Respect to Romania
As part of an ongoing country practice review, the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) is considering whether to recommend that duty-free treatment accorded to imports from Romania under the U.S. GSP program be withdrawn or suspended on the grounds that Romania affords preferential treatment to the products of a developed country, other than the United States, which has, or is likely to have, a significant adverse effect on United States commerce. In addition, Romania adopted Veterinary Order 95 which includes requirements that: (1) Individual U.S. poultry plants must be approved for export to the EU; and (2) U.S. poultry producers must abide by EU welfare rules for slaughter. There are no EU-approved poultry facilities in the United States. The GSP Subcommittee is seeking public comments on whether, in view of the information provided in the petition, implementation of this new measure, and any additional information pertaining to the eligibility criteria set forth in the statute, Romania no longer meets one or more statutory criteria for GSP eligibility. All public comments must be received by Thursday, September 7, 2006.