On April 4, 2023, the AmCham Board Directors, Executive Team and members attended the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program at the Ministry of Economy. The event featured two guest speakers: Mr. Jason Buntin, Director for Europe and Middle East Affairs at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and Ms. Laura Buffo, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
During the event, Ms. Buffo provided an overview of the GSP program, its benefits, and eligibility criteria for Armenian exports to receive duty-free treatment. The GSP program is a trade preference program that provides duty-free treatment to eligible products imported from designated beneficiary countries. The program aims to promote economic growth in developing countries by facilitating their exports to the United States.
However, the GSP program is subject to periodic reviews and reauthorization by the US Congress. In 2020, the program lapsed due to the lack of congressional reauthorization. This resulted in the suspension of duty-free treatment for eligible products from beneficiary countries, including Armenia. The program was eventually reauthorized by Congress in December 2020, with retroactive effect from July 31, 2020, which means that eligible products from beneficiary countries, including Armenia, can again receive duty-free treatment under the GSP program.
During the Q&A session, attendees raised questions about the eligibility criteria for products to receive GSP duty-free treatment, the process for importers to claim GSP benefits, and the potential impact of the program on bilateral trade between Armenia and the United States. The speakers clarified that GSP eligibility criteria are product-specific and depend on factors such as the product’s origin, value, and processing. The speakers also noted that the GSP program has the potential to increase bilateral trade and economic growth between Armenia and the United States.
In conclusion, the event on the GSP program provided valuable insights for Armenian exporters and importers seeking to take advantage of the duty-free treatment benefits under the program. The program has the potential to promote economic growth and development in Armenia by facilitating its exports to the United States. However, ongoing congressional reauthorization of the program remains crucial to ensure its sustainability and stability for beneficiary countries like Armenia.