On June 29, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the results of the 2016/2017 GSP Annual Review. Despite much uncertainty from importers about the new Administration’s position on GSP, the review resulted in one of the largest program expansions in history.
In the most significant act, USTR extended duty-free benefits to travel goods from all GSP countries. As part of the previous review, USTR provided benefits to only least-developed and AGOA countries. According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, “the industry pays in excess of $90 million a year on duties [on imports from GSP countries], which can now be re-purposed towards well-paying jobs for U.S. workers, lower costs for U.S. consumers, and/or increased investments in product innovation.”
USTR added several other new products to the list of GSP-eligible goods, including essential oils of lemon, cellulose nitrates, and others. USTR also granted a competitive need limit (CNL) waiver to certain wood products from Brazil – the only product requesting a waiver.
Glycine was removed from the program following a request from a domestic producer. USTR also self-initiated a country practice review for Bolivia related to potential labor rights violations.