Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate [December 16, 2014] [open pdf - 477KB]
From the summary: "The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs). The United States, the European Union, and other developed countries have implemented similar programs since the 1970s. The U.S. program was first authorized in Title V of the Trade Act of 1974, and is subject to periodic renewal by Congress. The GSP program was most recently extended until July 31, 2013, in Section 1 of P.L. 112-40, and has not been renewed. Imports under the GSP program in 2012 (last full year of GSP implementation) amounted to about $19.9 billion--about 6% of all imports from GSP countries, and about 1% of total U.S. imports. […] This report presents, first, recent developments and a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of the GSP. Second, the report presents a discussion of U.S. implementation of the GSP. Third, the report presents an analysis of the U.S. program's effectiveness and the positions of various stakeholders. Fourth, implications of the expiration of the U.S. program and possible options for Congress are discussed."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33663