USTR to study Vietnam GSP eligibility
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has initiated a review to consider the designation of Vietnam as a Beneficiary Developing Country under the Generalized System of Preferences, according to an e-mail Friday from the trade law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman.
“The USTR's office has initiated this review to determine whether to make a recommendation to the president that Vietnam meets the eligibility criteria under the GSP statute,” the note said. “Under the GSP, many articles originating in countries designated as BDCs may be imported duty-free. The GSP is one of the largest and most widely used programs by U.S. companies to receive duty-free treatment for imported merchandise, and well over 100 countries and associations of countries are currently designated as BDCs.”
GSP allows WTO members to lower tariffs on goods from developing nations versus those from other WTO members.
“The president has the authority to designate a country as a BDC,” the e-mail from Katten said. “In doing so, the president must consider a number of factors as defined by the GSP statute, including the level of economic development, market access and openness to U.S. exports, protection of intellectual property rights, reduction of trade barriers and trade-distorting practices, and protection of worker rights in the country.”
The USTR is soliciting comments on whether Vietnam meets the GSP eligibility criteria, with comments due by Aug. 4.