Trade Preferences: Economic Issues and Policy Options [September 24, 2010]   [open pdf - 395KB]

"Since 1974, Congress has created multiple trade preference programs designed to foster economic growth, reform, and development in less developed countries. These programs give temporary, non-reciprocal, duty-free U.S. market access to select exports of eligible countries. Congress conducts regular oversight of these programs, repeatedly revising and extending them. Two major issues face the 111th Congress: (1) the expiration of two preference programs by December 31, 2010; and (2) possible legislative action on broader reform of the preference programs based on comprehensive reviews in hearings held in both the House and the Senate earlier in this Congress. Congress established five trade preference programs. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) applies to developing countries as a whole. In addition, there are four regional programs established in the Andean Trade Preference Act (APTA), the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA); the Caribbean Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the Haitian Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act. Both the GSP and the ATPA are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2010."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41429
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