Renewed US GSP program seen boosting Philippine exports (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines expects its exports and competitiveness to the US market to receive a boost from a renewed US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

GSP-eligible exports comprised only 20.37 percent of Philippine total exports to the US in 2012, from previous year’s 16.59 percent.

Roseni Alvero, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) senior trade specialist and Philippine embassy commercial counselor, said most of the products belonging to the top 50 US GSP-eligible exports across the years are imported by big US multinational likely from big manufacturing operations.

“(The GSP) provides continued incentives for foreign investors to locate and expand their business in the Philippines,” she said during the recent DTI and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) briefing on the US GSP.

The GSP program also expands its coverage to include more specific types of travel goods.

“Designation or inclusion of new articles such as handbags, luggage, and flat goods will create market opportunity for the Philippine travel good industry,” she added.

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Alvero said the program can also provide the possibility of redesignation of GSP-eligible articles from the Philippines that are currently not receiving GSP duty-free treatment based on competitive need limit (CNL).

She identified these products as dried guavas, mangoes and mangosteens cane/beet sugar and pure sucrose.

The Philippines is the fifth largest user of US GSP out of 122 total beneficiaries. The program’s top beneficiaries include India, Thailand, Brazil and Indonesia.

US President Barack Obama signed Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 last June 29 which reauthorizes the US GSP program until December 2017. This after the program expired two years on July 31, 2013.