Presidential Proclamation changes U.S. trade benefit status with Ukraine, Thailand, and Republic of Mali

 In Industry Insider, Industry News

On October 25, 2019, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation regarding Ukraine and Thailand’s status under the Generalize System of Preferences (GSP) and the Republic of Mali’s lesser-developed beneficiary preferential trade benefits. Both programs give status to developing countries to grant them easier access to US markets, including allowing the import of many goods duty-free.

In regard to Ukraine, the proclamation restores the duty-free treatment accorded to certain products under GSP due to the nation’s progress towards protecting intellectual property rights. Ukraine’s status in the GSP was partially suspended in 2017 over concerns the country was not doing enough to protect intellectual property rights. The list of products restored to GSP eligibility for Ukraine is available at this link and took effect on October 30, 2019.

In regard to Thailand, the proclamation withdraws the duty-free treatment accorded to certain products under GSP due to the failure of the nation to take adequate steps in affording workers in Thailand internationally recognized worker rights. The list of products excluded from GSP eligibility for Thailand is available at this link and takes effect six months from issuance of this proclamation on April 25, 2020.

In regard to the Republic of Mali, the proclamation designates the country a lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country (LDBC). Mail has been receiving benefits from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) since 2013 but did not have LDBC status. As such, the country could not take advantage of special import rules for certain apparel articles. This status qualifies the Republic of Mali for LDBC preferential trade benefits that will take effect on November 24, 2019.

The official proclamation from the Federal Register can be found here.

If you have questions regarding the decisions, please reach out to the Trade Agreement Branch of CBP at FTA@cbp.dhs.gov. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Bill Carey, Trans-Border’s Import Compliance Manager, at bcarey@tbgfs.com or (800) 493-9444.