Trade Preferences: Economic Issues and Policy Options [January 10, 2013]   [open pdf - 486KB]

"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 has repeatedly revised and extended these programs. The112th Congress passed extensions to three trade preference programs: (1) the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) which expired on December 31, 2010 and was renewed retroactively from that date to July 31, 2013 (P.L. [Public Law] 112-40); (2) the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) for Colombia and Ecuador until July 31, 2013 (P.L. 112-42); and (3) a 'third-country fabric' provision in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) until September 30, 2015 (P.L. 112-163). Since the GSP and ATPA programs were only extended until the end of July 2013, Congress may consider further renewal of these programs in the first session of the 113th Congress, along with possible trade preference reform options. Three bills in the 112th Congress, S. 105, S. 1244, and H.R. [House Resolution] 2387, propose a new trade preference program that would provide duty-free and reduced tariff treatment for certain apparel from the Philippines. Other bills in the 112th Congress proposing preference programs include S. 1443, which would provide trade preferences for selected Asian and South Pacific countries."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41429
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