Dec 142014

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is pushing for the renewal of a program in the US granting trade preferences to support exporters, Trade Assistance Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo said over the weekend.

“The Philippines is actively involved in the Alliance of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) beneficiary countries in the US.

We are continuously advocating together with other countries like Thailand, for the renewal of law,” Rodolfo said.

The Philippines is among the beneficiary countries of the GSP which provides preferential duty-free treatment for up to 5,000 products entering the US.

Products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include: most manufactured items; many types of chemicals, minerals and building stone; jewelry; many types of carpets; and certain agricultural and fishery products.

The GSP program expired in July 31, 2013.

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Rodolfo said that based on information received by the government, the US is looking to consolidate its different programs seeking to provide trade preferences.

“They want to consolidate into one law…That was what we were told,” he said.

Even as the GSP has expired, Rodolfo said the DTI continues to advise exporters to declare that they intend to avail of GSP rates so that when the program is extended and benefits are made retroactive, reimbursements on duties paid can be made.

In the past, when the US Congress acted to extend the GSP, the duty-free treatment to GSP-eligible products was applied retroactively to the expiration of program, allowing refunds of duties paid.

The GSP was instituted on Jan. 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974.

The program is designed to promote economic growth in developing countries as well as support US jobs and businesses.

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