US extends GSP for PH; `17 trade up

Despite earlier diplomatic issues, the United States government has decided to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (US GSP) over the Philippines for three years after US President Donald Trump signed the Omnibus Spending Bill, which reauthorizes the trade preference program.

In a statement Sunday, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the US government approved the renewal of GSP and extending it until Dec. 31, 2020.

“The renewal authorizes the GSP through 31 December 2020 and includes a mechanism that refunds tariffs paid from 1 January 2018 through the reinstatement date of the program,” DTI said.

The US GSP provides zero-duty in products coming from beneficiary countries, including the Philippines. The said trade preference program covers 5,057 goods or 47.7 percent of 10,600 tariff lines in the US. This is expected to benefit Filipino exporters to the United States and spur trade to and from the north american cuontry. 

“We wish to thank the US Government for the timely renewal of the GSP program, as Philippine exporters will continue to benefit from enhanced market access to the United States under GSP,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Lopez cited top Philippine exports to US under the GSP program, which include telescopic sights for rifles, spectacle lenses other than glass, new pneumatic radial tires of rubber, non-alcoholic beverages not including fruits and vegetables, and electrical machinery and equipment parts.

In July 2017, US GSP Program was expanded to travel goods, and is expected to help boost Philippine exports to the US, which grew 3.5%  in 2017  to USD9.6 billion from USD8.85 billion in 2016. ( with reports from PNA) Photo: