Afghanistan

U.S. eliminates its tariffs on Afghan products

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President Bush has signed a proclamation that makes Afghanistan a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), eliminating U.S. tariffs on approximately 5,700 Afghan products imported into the United States.
According to a White House press statement January 13, the GSP designation marks Afghanistan's return to the world trading system and provides increased trade opportunities to help Afghan's build a more prosperous future.

Following is the text of the White House press release, and the text President Bush's letter to Congress concerning Afghanistan's designation as a beneficiary of the GSP program:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 13, 2003

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

On January 10, 2003, President Bush signed a proclamation designating Afghanistan as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. As a least-developed GSP beneficiary country, Afghanistan will be able to take advantage of duty-free tariff treatment into the United States on approximately 5,700 products.

This GSP designation marks an important step in Afghanistan's return to the world trading system. Increased opportunities for trade will help Afghanistan build an economy that can offer its citizens a more prosperous future.

GSP is a program that grants duty-free treatment to specified products that are imported from more than 140 designated developing countries and territories. GSP was reauthorized when President Bush signed the Trade Act of 2002 on August 6, 2002. This program underscores the Administration's commitment to providing trade opportunities to developing countries as a way to encourage broad-based economic development.

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(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 13, 2003

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

January 10, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

I am writing to inform you of my intent to add Afghanistan to the list of beneficiary developing countries and to the list of least-developed beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). I have carefully considered the criteria identified in sections 501 and 502 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. In light of these criteria, I have determined that it is appropriate to extend GSP beneficiary developing country and least-developed beneficiary developing country benefits to Afghanistan.

This notice is submitted in accordance with section 502(f) of the Trade Act of 1974.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH

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(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)