WASHINGTON D.C., - The United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) hosted a briefing on the Generalized System of Preferences and how Azerbaijan can better utilize the program. The briefing featured Laura Buffo, the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System of Preferences in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Executive Director Natig Bakhishov was the moderator for the event.
Established in 1974, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is the largest and oldest trade preference program in the United States. GSP is designed to promote economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products from 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories. Buffo noted that the duty-free benefits under GSP lapsed as of January 1, 2021. However, she said that Azerbaijani businesses should use this time to better understand how to use the GSP program before its reauthorization.
Buffo stated that Azerbaijan is underutilizing the GSP program. Azerbaijan’s exports to the U.S. total $37 million, but only 4% of their total exports are under GSP. In 2020, $1.5 million was exported under GSP in Azerbaijan, and $2.3 million in 2021 thus far. Laura Buffo said that to expand Azerbaijan’s GSP benefits, Azerbaijan should claim GSP on 100% of all eligible products, consider GSP eligible products exported to other markets, and connect with importers of similar products excluded from GSP. The presentation was followed by a brief question and answer session where representatives from Azerbaijani businesses asked questions to Buffo.
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