- Bathiudeen thanks US, says move big boost for growing trade even more
- SL exports to the US now almost at $ 3 b threshold
- The US is also the world’s largest buyer of Lankan exports
The re-authorised US GSP shall become active for Lankan exporters from this April, according to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan exports to the US are now almost at the $ 3 billion threshold for the first time.
“We thank the US Government for renewing their GSP support to Sri Lanka. This initiative greatly strengthens relations with our biggest trade partner in the world and helps not only our exporters but US importers and US consumers as well. Officials of my Department of Commerce have informed me that the re-authorised US GSP shall become active for Lankan exporters as early as 22 April,” said Industry and CommerceMinister Rishad Bathiudeen on 28 March during his meeting with top ministry officials.
US President Donald Trump re-authorised the US GSP facility for 120 beneficiary countries (which was not renewed in December 2017) when he signed the US Omnibus Spending Bill on 23 March. His re-authorisation opens opportunities for around 5,000 products to be imported to the US without tariff from 120 developing countries.
The US has been the leading buyer of Lankan exports over the years and it continued its lead even last year. Sri Lanka›s total exports to the US last year almost notched the $ 3 billion threshold at $ 2.9 billion. This is a growth of 3.65% from 2016›s $ 2.8 billion. The second largest buyer of Lankan exports last year was the UK at $ 1.03 billion and the third, was India at $ 689 million. Apparel products are Sri Lanka’s biggest export item to the US, taking around 70-75% of annual exports. Total US-Lanka trade (both exports and imports) in 2016 was $ 3.3 billion.
Sri Lanka will now benefit from the renewed US GSP Scheme until 31 December 2020. Since the effective date of the renewal is 22 April 2018, Lankan exports to the US under the GSP Scheme will be eligible for tariff concession after 22 April 2018.
However, US importers are eligible to claim the customs duties they had to pay during the period of inactive GSP from 1 January 2018 to 22 April 2018 due to the retroactive effect of the US President’s renewal.