ANNOUNCEMENT 29 Jun 2015In June 2015, the government of the United States of America announced a change in import duties.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
On June 29, 2015 President Obama signed into law a bill entitled the "Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015" (designated H.R.1295). The bill, now Public Law 114-27, renews the authorizations for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), and a preferential duty treatment program for Haiti. More specifically, it would renew AGOA through September 30, 2025; retroactively renew the GSP (for which the last authorization expired on July 31, 2013) to December 31, 2017; and renew the Haitian program through December 19, 2025. It would also make numerous other changes in these programs, especially with respect to AGOA.
These actions with respect to AGOA and the Haitian program affect the tariff treatment of almost every product that (a) the United States imports from the beneficiary countries and (b) would otherwise be subject to duty on an MFN basis, insofar as nearly every product that the United States imports from these countries is potentially eligible for preferential treatment (provided that the rules of origin are met). The list of products eligible for the GSP is much narrower, excluding (among others) most textile and apparel products, glass, steel, etc.
The bill also amends the GSP to authorise the designation of cotton articles classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule Sub-headings 5201.00.18, 5201.00.28, 5201.00.38, 5202.99.30, or 5203.00.30 as eligible articles, but only if produced in least-developed developing countries. The act also allows the president to designate certain luggage and travel-related articles as GSP eligible.