PH eyes US trade preference grant renewal

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hopes the United States will renew its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) grant to the country after it expired at the end-2020.

In a Viber message to media over the weekend, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said they expect the grant to be renewed. “All countries with GSP are expecting a renewal of the GSP, and we hope our next GSP grant would be for another three years or more,” he added.

He said the country will continue pushing for the inclusion of the footwear sector when the GSP grant is renewed. The GSP is an important special US trade preference program for beneficiary countries which does away with duties on thousands of products entering the US market.

The program also helps beneficiary countries to increase and diversify trade with the US; 70% of Philippine exports to the US were eligible for GSP.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that the US is the top export destination for Philippine products in 2020. About 15.2% or US$9.71 billion of the country’s exports last year went to the US.

Due to impact of the pandemic, however, Philippine exports to US declined by 16.1% last year compared to the US$11.67 billion export revenue in 2019.