New Delhi: The US Congress is likely to approve trade preferences for the least developed and developing countries in the next few weeks, a move which will help Indian exporters as well.
"The GSP Bill was passed last week out of the Senate. The House of Representatives is likely to approve it next month...it is actually going to be retroactive," Chad Kreikemeier, advisor to US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, said here.
The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) expired on December 2010 under which imports from developing and least developed countries were allowed preferential access to the US market.
Under the GSP, Indian handicraft items--brass lamps, carpets and engineering products--power generators were allowed duty-free access to the US to the tune of USD 3.5 billion in 2010.
Kreikemeier, Defence and Foreign Policy advisor to the US Senator said, it is most likely that GSP Bill would be passed and signed by the US President Barack Obama in the next few weeks.
"...this (GSP) is a part of larger trade package... so it is going to be extended, reauthorised is the right word," the advisor said.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had earlier raised the issue of revival of GSP.
The US used to provide GSP for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories. Total imports to US under GSP from these nations were worth USD 22.5 billion in 2010.
The US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had also urged Congress to reauthorize the GSP, at the earliest opportunity and for the longest period possible.
First Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 19:04