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Sri Lanka to continue receiving United States GSP benefits

The United States has decided to not change the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits to Sri Lanka.

The GSP country practice review of Sri Lanka was closed based on the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to address worker rights issues over the past few years.

“The GSP country practice review on worker rights in Sri Lanka has closed without any change to Sri Lanka’s GSP trade benefits,” Ron Kirk, Trade representative for the US said.

The review on Sri Lanka 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 recognized worker rights to workers in the country.

US imports from Sri Lanka under the GSP amounted to a total of $135milion in 2011.

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