The United States is extending duty-free benefits for 66 items including carpets, headgear, shawls, scarves, etc. imported from Nepal. Barack Obama, President, USA recently signed a proclamation to implement the legislation on Nepal Preference Programme.
Obama had signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act earlier in February, 2016 granting duty-free tariff benefits to Nepalese goods. The Act came into implementation lately after the US President signed the proclamation, underlined a statement issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The trade preference programme will grant duty-free tariff benefits for Nepali exports not currently eligible for benefits under the GSP. It also authorizes a trade capacity building programme, focused on helping Nepal implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The programme will remain effective for the 10 years.
“The legislation provides a unique opportunity for Nepali businesses to expand their exports to US markets. These trade preferences will provide some support, but ultimately Nepal’s broader economic development will be achieved through policy reform that incentivizes investment, an improved business environment and labour reform that supports all sectors,” as per the statement by Alaina B Teplitz, Ambassador, USA.
The implementation of this programme, however, will not affect other Nepal-made goods that are already eligible for duty-free access into the US market under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
Under the 40-year-old GSP programme, about 5,000 products from 122 beneficiary developing countries and territories, including 43 least-developed countries, are eligible for duty-free treatment when exported to the US under the GSP programme.