The Trump Administration announced that it will suspend $1.3 billion in trade preferences for certain products from Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program citing Thailand’s “failure to adequately provide internationally-recognized worker rights.”
GSP provides reduced tariff rates for certain products from certain developing and least developed countries. Per the office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) announcement, the suspension is slated to take effect in April, 2020. Because the USTR gave notice to Congress, it has the legal ability to remove benefits within 60 days (U.S. law requires the President to give 60 days’ notice to Congress and the recipient-country before removing GSP eligibility).
The list of products that will be removed from eligibility will affect about a third of Thailand’s GSP-eligible products and include products such as certain fresh and frozen seafood, lumber, and textile products.
The Administration also noted that it is “restoring some GSP benefits for Ukraine following its passage of legislation aimed at addressing shortcomings in its intellectual property (IP) regime” and announced that it is opening new GSP eligibility reviews for two countries: South Africa and Azerbaijan.