Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo welcomed the renewal of the Generalized System of Preference (GSP).
“The US is an important ally of the Philippines and we welcome the move of the US Congress to renew the GSP privileges. The renewal of the GSP secures close to US$1B exports revenues,” Secretary Domingo said.
US President Barack Obama signed the renewal or reauthorization of the Generalized System of Preference last 21 October 2011.
“The renewed program provides retroactive claim for preferential duty free access starting January 1, 2011. Our exporters will be refunded for the difference in tariffs paid after the GSP expired last December 2010. US Customs is now preparing guidelines for the refund process,” Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. announced.
In 2010, the Philippines ranked 7th among US’ top GSP beneficiary countries, accounting for 4.9% of total GSP imports to the US, data from Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) showed. In 2010, Philippine GSP utilization was 72% - a strong indication that the GSP is a valuable market access tool of Filipino exporters in maintaining competitiveness in the US market.
The GSP is a program of the US government designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry to 4,800 products from 129 beneficiary countries. Some of the countries that benefit from the GSP include Thailand, India, Brazil, Africa, Turkey, and the Philippines.
Cristobal added that the GSP benefits the Philippines as well as the US. Analysts estimate that in the US alone, close to 82, 000 jobs are either directly or indirectly associated with the importation and use of GSP-eligible imports including manufactures and semi-manufactures, agricultural, fishery, and primary industrial products.
In the Philippines, products eligible for GSP are cane sugar, bananas, parts of air conditioning machines, wooden tableware and kitchenware, silver articles of jewelry, some types of women’s or girl’s dresses, parts of machinery, and other food products such as dried mangoes, guavas, and mangosteen.
The GSP becomes effective November 5 and will remain in effect until 31 July 2013.
The United States ranked second to Japan as the Philippines top export market in 2010. Total 2010 bilateral trade between the Philippines and the US amounted to US$13.86B. The Philippines was the US’ 36th supplier of imports and 30th largest export market for the same period.