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May 15, 2008 

USTR Announces 2008 Annual GSP Review

Although the Generalized System of Preferences is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2008 unless renewed by Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice in today's Federal Register announcing the initiating of the 2008 Annual Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to modify the list of products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP program, to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices and competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers.

All petitions to modify the list of articles eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP or to review the GSP status of any beneficiary developing country, with the exception of petitions requesting CNL waivers, must be received by the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee no later than Wednesday, June 18, 2008. Petitions requesting CNL waivers must be received by the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee no later than Thursday, November 13, 2008, in order to be considered in the 2008 Annual Review.

Interested parties, including foreign governments, may submit petitions to: (1) Designate additional articles as eligible for GSP benefits, including to designate articles as eligible for GSP benefits only for countries designated as least-developed beneficiary developing countries, or only for countries designated as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); (2) withdraw, suspend or limit the application of duty-free treatment accorded under the GSP with respect to any article, either for all beneficiary developing countries, least-developed beneficiary developing countries or beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or for any of these countries individually; (3) waive the "competitive need limitations'' for individual beneficiary developing countries with respect to specific GSP-eligible articles (these limits do not apply to either least-developed beneficiary developing countries or AGOA beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries); and (4) otherwise modify GSP coverage.

The U.S. GSP program is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world and provides preferential duty-free entry for thousands of products from 131 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

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