Uncertainly over GSP plus | Daily News

Uncertainly over GSP plus

Responding to a question about the expiration of the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme for Sri Lanka and other beneficiary countries on December 31, 2017, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that this has happened before as well and still they are not sure whether the congress had stopped it or there is a delay in the extension process.

Accordingly, the immediate effect of the GSP expiration is that the GSP eligible imports to the US from Sri Lanka and other GSP beneficiary countries and territories will be subject to non-preferential duties beginning January 1, 2018.

Minister Senaratne at the Cabinet press conference on Wednesday at the Department of Government Information, said that 68 percent of import is based on the European market and only 28 percent is based on the US market.

“We do not get full relief, only GSP eligible imports will receive a relief. In February 2016, the US extended this relief until December 31, 2017. However, it was not extended afterwards and this has happened before as well,” he said.

The minister further said that if they extend it later, they would repay the relief.

He said that Sri Lanka received GSP plus and that is given only to nine countries in the world.

When the Minister was asked whether Sri Lanka has an impact over its stance with regard to Jerusalem, he said that Sri Lanka never changed its stance regarding the status Jerusalem.

“Member States in the United Nations General Assembly demanded that all countries comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, following an earlier decision by the United States to recognise the Holy City as the capital of Israel,” he said.

He said that even though parties changed in the past, Sri Lanka’s policy towards Jerusalem remained steadfast.

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