$654M in PH exports did not utilize US GSP duty-free benefits in 2019

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More Filipino exporters need to avail of the Philippines’ duty-free benefits under the United States Generalized System of Preferences (US GSP), according to the Filipino trade representative in the US.

Nicanor Bautista of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-New York said Philippine GSP exports to the US reached $1.6 billion in 2019, but $654 million of that were duty-free “but did not avail of duty-free benefits.”

This development, he said, should encourage more Filipino exporters to ship more products to the US.

“I would really encourage our exporters [to] talk to your importers, tell them [your] products are GSP because if they are, then your importer may be able to purchase more or you can export more of your products because they are duty-free,” he said.

Bautista said this is just a matter of “informing your importer that this product is duty free and that he should apply for that” benefit and of “filling out forms.”

GSP allows the Philippines to export a total of 5,057 products, or nearly half of the 10,600 total US tariff lines, to the US at zero or reduced tariffs.

Moreover, Bautista added that now is also an opportune time for the Philippines to maximize the utilization of its US GSP beneficiary status following the suspension by the US government of Thailand’s GSP benefits.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on October 30, 2020 announced the suspension of $817 million in trade preferences for Thailand under the GSP program, citing Thailand’s “lack of sufficient progress providing the United States with equitable and reasonable market access for pork products.” SOVEREIGNPH

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