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On June 29, President Barak Obama notified Congress of his intent to terminate Gibraltar and the Turks and Caicos Islands as beneficiary developing countries under the United States Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme, and to add Senegal to the list.
The GSP programme was created in the Trade Act of 1974 to help developing countries expand their economies by allowing certain goods to be imported into the US duty-free. On October 21 last year, President Obama signed legislation to reauthorize the programme until July 31, 2013.
Under the programme, 129 beneficiary developing countries, including 42 least-developed countries, have been eligible to export up to 4,881 types of products tax-free to the US, and, in 2011, the total value of imports that so entered the US was USD18.5bn.
Gibraltar and the Turks and Caicos islands have been removed from the list of developing countries as the President has determined that they have become ‘high income’ countries, as defined by the official statistics of the World Bank. Under the GSP programme, the termination of their benefits becomes effective on January 1 of the second year following the year in which they are re-designated, in this case, January 1, 2014.
On the other hand, President Obama has notified Congress of his intent to add Senegal to the list of least-developed beneficiary developing countries under the programme, so that it will begin to receive the appropriate duty-free benefits for its exports to the US.
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