Tuesday, May 21, 2024

PH Gets US Trade Representative Backing For GSP Reauthorization


PH Gets US Trade Representative Backing For GSP Reauthorization


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United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai has assured her support for the Philippines for the renewal of the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which expired in December 2020.

“I have expressed my support to the Congress for the Congress to reauthorize, but that action must be taken by the US Congress,” Tai told the local press in a media briefing in Makati City on Tuesday.

The Philippines benefits from the US GSP as the trade preference program provides zero duty for 3,500 tariff lines.

The Philippines is also among the top five beneficiary countries of the US GSP.

The US Congress’ reauthorization of the GSP benefits for the Philippines is vital for the country, as the US is one of the top two destinations for Philippine exports.

In the Asia Pacific bulletin published by the East-West Center, it said American firms importing from the Philippines paid USD121 million in extra tariff on USD1.9 billion goods eligible under the US GSP since it expired in 2020.

It said the US GSP is a “valuable tool in strengthening Philippine-US trade” and it should be renewed.

Among the issues that the US Congress is considering in the reauthorization of the GSP for the Philippines are human rights and labor issues.

The visiting US trade representative in Manila said the US Congress is also looking into adding the environmental criterion to the trade preference program.

Moreover, Tai said the Biden administration wants a labor-centered trade, which will help improve the lives of workers.

“And we have to think about advancing a trade policy that is going to be good for not just consumers, but workers because people have many facets. So in our engagements with all of our trade partners, I will often visit not just my trade counterpart, but also my labor counterpart. I will visit with not just business leaders but also with labor leaders to try to advance this project of connecting the trade and the labor conversations with all of our partners,” she added.

Tai is in Manila for an official visit from April 16 to 18. She will also be traveling to Tokyo after visiting Manila.

Her visit to Asia aims to emphasize the importance of the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, wherein the Philippines and Japan are signatories. (PNA)