A coalition of agricultural and food organizations is urging Congress to establish criteria for revoking a country’s tariff-free access to the U.S. market if it fails to give U.S. products treatment consistent with international trade rules. In a letter to Congress, the coalition reminded the congressional members that “barriers to U.S. exports in GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) beneficiary countries are widespread and are often in flagrant violation of international obligations.” The coalition said, “The fact that these countries may maintain these restrictions on U.S. goods while benefitting from unilateral preferential treatment for their products in the U.S. market – and with little apparent concern about losing those tariff benefits – is clearly inconsistent with the intent of Congress, and we believe this must change.”
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The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) offers tariff-free treatment on many products from developing countries. Last year, 130 nations received such benefits on about 5,000 products shipped to the United States. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is similar to GSP.
The coalition, led by the National Pork Producers Council, includes the American Feed Industry Association, American Meat Institute, Animal Health Institute, Corn Refiners Association, National Chicken Council, National Confectioners Association, National Milk Producers Federation, North American Equipment Dealers Association, North American Meat Association, Northwest Horticulture Council and USA Rice Federation.