The President notified Congress today that he intends to withdraw Russia’s eligibility for trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because Russia is sufficiently advanced economically that it no longer warrants preferential treatment reserved for less advanced developing countries, consistent with the requirements of the GSP program. Once Russia’s eligibility is withdrawn, which would be effected via a presidential proclamation, U.S. imports of GSP-eligible goods from Russia will be subject to normal, non-preferential rates of duty.
In a letter to the Congress, the Office of the President stated:
Consistent with section 502(f)(2) of the Trade Act of 1974 (the “1974 Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2462(f)(2)), I am providing notice of my intent to withdraw the designation of Russia as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.
Sections 501(1) and (4) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2461(1) and (4)), provide that, in affording duty-free treatment under the GSP, the President shall have due regard for, among other factors, the effect such action will have on furthering the economic development of a beneficiary developing country through the expansion of its exports and the extent of the beneficiary developing country’s competitiveness with respect to eligible articles.
Section 502(c) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(c)) provides that, in determining whether to designate any country as a beneficiary developing country for purposes of the GSP, the President shall take into account various factors, including the country’s level of economic development, the country’s per capita gross national product, the living standards of its inhabitants, and any other economic factors he deems appropriate.
Having considered the factors set forth in sections 501 and 502(c) of the 1974 Act, I have determined that it is appropriate to withdraw Russia’s designation as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP program because Russia is sufficiently advanced in economic development and improved in trade competitiveness that continued preferential treatment under the GSP is not warranted. I intend to issue a proclamation withdrawing Russia’s designation consistent with section 502(f)(2) of the 1974 Act.
Source: White House