There would be no significant change in trade policy with Sri Lanka, the Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs, Mark Linscott said on Monday whilst visiting the island.
Meeting wtih Sri Lankan officials including the Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Chinthaka Lokuhetti, Mr Linscott said, “it is tough to predict the future.”
“The new US administration has a significant shift in change towards several of its trade agreements - mainly the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; and there is a big focus on re-negotiating NAFTA as well as correcting our current trade deficits too.”
“Despite this I am not expecting any significant changes in US’ bilateral trade with Sri Lanka or our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with Sri Lanka.”
“We are looking to move on from the past and create a special (trade) plan for Sri Lanka on TIFA,” he said.
“We definitely want to see TIFA’s follow up on the progress achieved in Washington. I appreciate this frank exchange of ideas with the Ministry in my first visit to Sri Lanka.”
“Sri Lanka has one of the highest US GSP utilisation rates among other US GSP beneficiaries –we use 85%. Therefore it is time we see more new initiatives via TIFA," he added.