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GSP programme renewed for Sri Lanka

The US has renewed its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits programme with Sri Lanka.

In a statement the Department of Commerce said “The US President signed into law HR 1295 on June 29, 2015 re-authorizing the US GSP Program until 31 December 2017 providing preferential duty free entry into US market for nearly 5000 products from 122 designated beneficiary countries and territories, including Sri Lanka.”

“The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC was an active member of the Alliance of GSP countries which joined other US stakeholders in advocating early renewal of the US GSP Program. In 2014, the United States has imported US $ 178 million worth of goods under the GSP program from Sri Lanka demonstrating 12.5 percent increase compared to 2013,” the statement further said.

A review on Sri Lanka's eligibility for the programme was initially carried out after a petition was filed in 2008, outlining shortcomings in Sri Lanka’s recognition of worker rights.

Subsequently the benefits for Sri Lanka were suspended in 2010. Then in late October 2011, the GSP bill was approved again allowing Sri Lanka and 129 other nations to receive the benefits of the GSP.

As part of the annual GSP review, an US government committee receives and considers petitions seeking to withdraw or limit a country’s eligibility for GSP benefits according to that country’s compliance with legal eligibility criteria, a key criteria being the provision of internationally recognised worker rights to workers in the country.

Sri Lanka to continue receiving United States GSP benefits (02 July 2012)