U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Passes Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Reform Act

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee passed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Reform Act today in a 25-17 bipartisan vote. The GSP Reform Act, introduced by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), would reauthorize the GSP program until December 31, 2030. The legislation permanently bans China from the list of eligible countries and sets new country eligibility for participation to ensure fair treatment for U.S. agricultural exports, fair digital and tax treatment of U.S. companies and workers, democracy, good governance, and anti-corruption standards, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “GSP is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program that provides nonreciprocal, duty-free treatment enabling many of the world’s developing countries to spur diversity and economic growth through trade.” Economic development is promoted by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from designated beneficiary countries and territories.

In addition to the new country eligibility requirements, this legislation creates the first agriculture-specific eligibility criteria for participating countries. This is intended to create additional leverage to open markets for American farmers. The legislation would allow removal of countries for placing non-science-based barriers on U.S. ag products or who provide unfair subsidies. Reforms would also utilize GSP to
ensure fair digital trade and tax treatment for U.S. companies and workers, allowing for the removal of countries that impose discriminatory measures against the U.S.

Larry Don Womack, National Pecan Federation Chairman, stated: “In our continued efforts to build and open markets for the American pecan industry in India, the reauthorization of the GSP will be an important tool. The National Pecan Federation appreciates the work of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to pass this legislation reauthorizing GSP and supporting American agriculture.”

This legislation will now await consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives.