On October 25, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office announced GSP Enforcement Actions effecting seven countries as follows:
Thailand: GSP eligibility will be revoked for approximately one-third of Thailand’s GSP trade which totaled $4.4 billion in 2018. This enforcement action, which will take effect April 25, 2020, is being taken because Thailand has not taken steps to provide internationally recognized worker rights in several important areas such as providing protections for freedom of association and collective bargaining. The list of products to be excluded from GSP for Thailand are focused on products for which the United States is a relatively important market for Thailand. A complete list of products to be excluded from GSP for Thailand is available here: Thailand Excluded GSP Products.
Ukraine: GSP eligibility will be restored for approximately $12 million of Ukraine products previously removed. In 2017, as a result of Ukraine’s failure to provide adequate and effective protections of intellectual property rights, the United States had removed GSP eligibility for more than $36 million in GSP benefits to the Ukraine. The Ukraine passed legislation in 2018 aimed at improving the governance of collective management organizations which are responsible for collecting and distributing royalties to right holders. As a result of the new legislation, the United States is restoring approximately one-third of the GSP benefits effective October 30, 2019. A complete list of products to be restored to GSP eligibility for the Ukraine is available here: Ukraine Restored GSP Products
Bolivia: USTR is closing the GSP worker rights eligibility review for Bolivia as they have passed legislation raising the minimum work age to 14.
Iraq: USTR is closing the GSP worker rights eligibility review for Iraq as they have passed legislation expanding collective bargaining rights, placing further limits on child labor, improving protections against discrimination/harassment at work, and dramatically expanding coverage of labor protections to more workers.
Uzbekistan: USTR is closing the GSP intellectual property eligibility review for Uzbekistan as they have joined the Geneva Phonograms Convention, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Uzbekistan is still being reviewed for GSP worker rights eligibility.
Azerbaijan: USTR is opening a GSP worker rights eligibility review.
South Africa: USTR is opening a GSP intellectual property rights review.
USTR’s notice states that “GSP, the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program, is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry into the United States for 3,500 products from the 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories. To remain eligible for these advantages, beneficiary countries must comply with 15 statutory eligibility criteria that are important to U.S. interests, including taking steps to afford internationally recognized labor rights, providing adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, and assuring equitable and reasonable access to its markets.”
To maintain this eligibility, the USTR and other relevant agencies will conduct a Triennial Assessment of each GSP beneficiary country’s compliance with statutory eligibility criteria. If the assessment of a beneficiary country raises concerns regarding the country’s compliance, the Administration may self-initiate a full country practice review.
For more information, please contact your local Noatum Logistics USA (Formerly MIQ Logistics) representative.