The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced a hearing date and related deadlines for review of certain countries’ ongoing eligibility under the United States’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. We previously wrote about these GSP reviews here, which may result in the United States’ decision to suspend duty-free GSP benefits for imports from countries that no longer satisfy the eligibility requirements.
The current round of GSP reviews by the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will evaluate whether:
- Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring that a GSP beneficiary country afford workers in that country internationally recognized worker rights;
- Ecuador is meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring a GSP beneficiary country to act in good faith in recognizing as binding or in enforcing applicable arbitral awards;
- Indonesia and South Africa are meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights;
- Indonesia and Thailand are meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring a GSP beneficiary country to provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets and basic commodity resources; and
- Laos meets all of the GSP eligibility criteria and should be newly designated as a GSP beneficiary country.
USTR initiated the GSP country practice reviews of Azerbaijan and South Africa following the TPSC’s own determination and interested party petitions. Reviews of the other countries examined in this round are the result of interested party petitions.
The TPSC will hold its hearing on January 30, 2020. Interested parties intending to file written pre-hearing comments and/or requests to appear at the hearing must do so by January 17, 2020. Any post-hearing comments must be submitted by February 28, 2020. More information regarding these deadlines and submission requirements can be found here.