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March 26, 2018 | by    

Congress Passes, President Signs Bill To Retroactively Extend GSP

The final federal fiscal year 2018 spending bill that passed the U.S. House and Senate last week and was signed by President Donald Trump on Friday included a three-year renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

The GSP program, which waives duties on thousands of goods from developing countries, expired at the end of December. Under the legislation approved last week, duties collected since January 1, 2018 will be reimbursed.

The spending bill also included language to reform the GSP program. As Politico’s “Morning Trade” explained, current GSP rules restrict imports of a particular product to certain dollar and percentage amounts called “competitive need limitations.” The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) can grant a waiver under certain conditions, such as U.S. national security interests, the fact that there is no domestic production, or if there is a low rate of total imports. Previously, a waiver on the grounds that there was no domestic production could be granted only if there was no production in the United States as of January 1, 1995. With the language in the spending bill, USTR can now grant a wavier if there was no production during the previous three years.