US GSP talks fruitful
The discussions by the US trade delegation held with the Sri Lankan
authorities on the GSP concession was productive and fruitful.
"We had very cordial and productive meetings during our visit to Sri
Lanka with the Government, union leaders, company representatives and
other interested parties," Assistant United States Trade Representative
Michael Delaney said.
"We are encouraged by our meetings with these groups. We will
continue our collaborative process of dialogue and we look forward to
working together on the issue of labour rights in Sri Lanka", he said.
The United States Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program is
wholly independent of any other country's review.
The GSP review is solely focused on labour rights. In addition, GSP
trade benefits continue during the ongoing review process. There is no
time line for review and would work in the coming months to identify
possible approaches. The US team of Government officials had a two day
visit to Sri Lanka and engaged in a dialogue with the Government.
The United States team included representatives from the United
States Representatives Office and the Labour and State Department. The
US delegation also met with labour unions, employees associations and
other interested parties. Adherence to international standards is
mandatory under the United States GSP program. The United States GSP
program is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world.
It provides duty free treatment for over 3,400 products from 131
designated beneficiary countries and territories including Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka benefited from GSP treatment on approximately $ 116 million
of goods in 2009. The products covered under this program include
machinery, electric goods, chemical products, agricultural products and
jewellery. However, most textile and apparel goods are not eligible for
GSP preferential benefits under the program.