United States closes GSP Worker Rights review of Sri Lanka without any change to Sri Lanka’s GSP trade benefits. United States Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk revealed this afternoon that USTR has closed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) country practice review on worker rights in Sri Lanka without any change to Sri Lanka’s GSP trade benefits.
Ambassador Kirk said, “The closure of the GSP country practice review of Sri Lanka was based on the Sri Lankan government’s noteworthy efforts over the past few years to address the worker rights issues outlined in the GSP petition.
This significant achievement is a clear testimony to indicate Sri Lanka’s commitment to ensure improved worker rights.
US GSP programme allows duty free entry to US market for over 4800 products from 128 developing countries. Duty free access under the US GSP programme remains very vital for Sri Lankan exporters. Sri Lankan s exports have grown by 22 % in 2011 to US $ 2.1 Billion. During the first three months of 2012, US imports from Sri Lankan has increased by nearly 30 % compared to the corresponding period of 2011. The total value of Sri Lankan exports to US under GSP programme amounted US $ 135 Million in 2011.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya said this vital announcement comes at a time when Sri Lanka and the US have embarked on a journey to further consolidate our multifaceted relationship. He thanked the US officials for their understanding and cooperation particularly the officials of the office of USTR. Similarly, he acknowledged the contribution made by relevant line Ministries in Sri Lanka including Ministry of Labour , Industry and Commerce and External Affairs , Department of Commerce and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka
Both countries will continue to work very closely under the newly formed Labour Affairs Committee under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between the US and Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya further stated that this welcoming news will generate enormous goodwill between the two countries and create new opportunities for trade and investment especially for US Companies in Sri Lanka.