The Sri Lankan government attempted to play down the impact of the decision by the United States to end its preferential duties from January 1, 2018.
"The US GSP applies to 120 countries and there is nothing special or significant to Sri Lanka. Once it was removed, the cost of exports will rise only by about 3% in tariff," Sri Lanka's national policies and economic affairs deputy minister, Harsha De Silva was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying.
The "USD 173 million worth of exports which received GSP benefit is not a big amount of our total exports of about USD 11,000 million. This will make a negligible impact," he reportedly further added.
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In a press release today, the US Embassy in Colombo said that in the case of Sri Lanka, “the United States Congress did not re-authorize GSP before adjourning for the year”.
“The immediate effect of GSP expiration is GSP eligible imports to the United States from Sri Lanka and other GSP beneficiary countries and territories will be subject to non-preferential duties beginning January 1, 2018,” it added.