The widely popular Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program officially expired December 31, 2020. But there is hope ahead for retroactive GSP renewal in 2021.

According to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass, congress will retroactively restore GSP in 2021 with updated qualification guidelines and goals. This action mirrors similar renewals that have occurred after other instances of GSP expiration over the last decade.

Neal pointed to the program’s likely renewal during a Washington Trade Association Conference, noting that the program’s benefits would be available retroactively back to the start of 2021.

Updates and Revisions

GSP may not return in the same form as before, however. Last year congressional Democrats raised concerns that GSP was due for revisions.

As a result, Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon submitted a GSP rewrite in late 2020. The proposed update seeks to verify that qualifying countries have taken proper strides toward improvements around poverty, health care, education, and more. Neal also highlighted the revised program’s focus on both climate change and forced labor.

Congressional Republicans at the time had urged members to renew GSP without delays for updates and keep the program intact for the start of 2021. Democrats held out in favor of taking the time for revisions and retroactive renewal further down the line.

What is the GSP Trade Benefits Program?

The Generalized System of Preferences offers developing countries reduced-tariff opportunities for US-bound products. The U.S. adopted GSP in 1974 to help spur worldwide economic growth and human rights progress. Over the decades GSP has become one of the most popular and widely accessed U.S. trade programs.

Keep Tabs on GSP Renewal and Other Trade News

Scarbrough International continues to keep track of the latest developments around GSP and other U.S. trade policies. Follow our news desk or contact your Scarbrough Representative to get the latest updates on U.S. and international trade activity.