BACKGROUND

On October 25, 2019, the President issued a Presidential Proclamation (PP) regarding Ukraine and Thailand trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preferences program and regarding the Republic of Mali lesser-developed beneficiary preferential trade benefits (the Federal Register has not yet recorded this PP; the PP number to be provided when available). 

UKRAINE

The proclamation restores the duty-free treatment accorded under GSP to certain products from Ukraine because the country has made progress towards providing adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights.  This action will take effect five days from the signing of the proclamation, effective October 30, 2019. 

The list of products restored to GSP eligibility for Ukraine is available at http://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/gsp/Products_to_be_restored_to_GSP_eligibility_for_Ukraine.pdf

THE REPUBLIC OF MALI

The proclamation designates Mali a lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country (LDBC), thus qualifying it for LDBC preferential benefits.  This action will take effect thirty days from the signing of the proclamation, November 24, 2019. 

Mali’s AGOA benefits had been restored by Presidential Proclamation 9072 (December 23, 2013) which designated the Republic of Mali as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country to the AGOA program; however, this Presidential Proclamation did not designate the Republic of Mali as a “lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country.”  As a consequence, Mali was unable to take advantage of special rules for certain apparel articles imported from “lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries,” in particular the third country fabric provision that enables Mali to produce apparel competitively. 

The Administration conducts periodic reviews to consider factors related to the continued eligibility of GSP beneficiary countries.  In making these determinations, the President drew on the recommendations of the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer, and the work of an interagency committee that held a public hearing and received public comments as part of its review of the various issues at stake (See 82 FR 37652, 8/11/2017).  The GSP actions announced today are aimed at supporting U.S. manufacturing, implementing Congressional intent with respect to GSP, and strengthening U.S. trade enforcement efforts.

GUIDANCE

UKRAINE

With respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on October 30, 2019 the General Notes of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is modified per Presidential Proclamation[1]  – Annex A: Modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to restore certain articles that are the product of Ukraine for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences. [Insert Presidential Proclamation Hyperlink]

REPUBLIC OF MALI

For purposes of AGOA (Title I, Public Law 106-200, §112(c)], the Republic of Mali is designated a “lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country.”  HTS Ch. 98 Subchapter XIX, General Note 2(d) is modified by inserting in alphabetical sequence in the list of lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries “Republic of Mali”.

The modification to the HTS made by paragraph (9) of this proclamation shall enter into effect on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 24, 2019.

THAILAND

The proclamation withdraws the duty-free treatment accorded under GSP to certain products from Thailand because the country is not taking steps to afford workers in Thailand internationally recognized worker rights.  This action will take effect six months from the issuance of this proclamation. Additional guidance will be issued close to the date of implementation.  The list of products excluded from GSP eligibility for Thailand is available at: http://ustr.gov\sites\default\files\files\gsp\Products_to_be_removed_from_GSP_eligibility_for_Thailand.pdf

If questions contact the Trade Agreements Branch at FTA@CBP.DHS.gov.

For more information on the GSP program, visit the GSP page on the USTR website at: http://ustr.gov/issue-areas/trade-development/preference-programs/generalized-system-preference-gsp

Note: The link to the PP is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-modify-duty-free-treatment-generalized-system-preferences-purposes-2/

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