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Trade dep’t expects US GSP renewal by 2022

PHILSTAR

THE RENEWAL of the Philippines’ participation in the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is expected by next year, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Trade undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head, said in a recent virtual briefing that the GSP is ‘likely” to be renewed.

“Most likely, the GSP will be renewed. However, based on the calendar of the US, it seems that the GSP will not be renewed within the year. Most likely, it will be renewed in 2022,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

Mr. Rodolfo said the Philippines will meet with the United States Trade Representative to discuss the renewal as well as a proposed bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

The Philippines’ US GSP privileges expired on Dec. 31. Philippine exports to the US that formerly enjoyed duty-free treatment under the scheme are now charged most-favored nation rates.

Mr. Rodolfo said the improving relationship with the US is conducive for bringing up the renewal and the FTA. He cited as a positive development the decision of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to extend the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for another six months.

He added that the Philippines is aiming for industrial cooperation and increased US investment.

Philippine exports admitted under GSP to the US in 2019 totaled $1.6 billion. Top GSP-eligible exports were coconut oil, pineapples, crab meat, coconuts, fruit juice, and frozen tuna fillets. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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