U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is punting the decision to extend duty-free, quota-free preferences for exports of travel goods to the U.S. for all Generalized System of Preferences beneficiaries to the incoming Trump administration, according to multiple sources.
[Daily News| January 18, 2017 |Inside US Trade]
Sources said that Froman will also issue a non-public recommendation to President-elect Trump’s incoming trade team that it should extend those preferences to all GSP beneficiaries, as opposed to GSP countries that are not members of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and countries that are not considered least-developed countries.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative briefed members of both parties from the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees on Jan. 18, as well as the private sector, regarding the decision. According to an informed source, USTR on the call said the private sector had made “a good case” for why all GSP beneficiaries should receive preferences for travel goods, but regardless, Froman would not recommend to President Obama that he issue a Presidential Proclamation to that effect.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association blasted the decision in a statement. “AAFA has worked on securing duty-free eligibility for travel goods under the Generalized System of Preferences program for all eligible countries for several years, including numerous testimonies and more than a thousand meetings,” the organization said.