US to also review GSP for Lanka
July 1, 2010 09:59 am
The U.S. Government announced that it has accepted a petition to
review the GSP status given to
The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a program designed to
promote economic growth in the developing world,
provides preferential duty-free treatment for over 3,400 products from 131
designated beneficiary countries and territories, including
Countries eligible for GSP benefits must meet several criteria. These criteria include whether and the extent to which the country has taken or is taking steps to afford workers in the country internationally recognized worker rights including the right of association; the right to organize and bargain collectively; a prohibition on compulsory labor; a minimum age for the employment of children; a prohibition on the worst forms of child labor; and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work and occupational safety and health.
In 2008, as part of the annual review process, the American Federation of
Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), an American trade
union, filed a petition with the US Government requesting a review of worker
The U.S. Government’s acceptance of the petition begins the following process:
· There will be a public hearing, likely held in August, to discuss the worker rights issues raised by the AFL-CIO petition. The Government of Sri Lanka will be invited to participate in the hearing.
· Beginning before the hearing, the
Acceptance of the petition is not a decision to revoke GSP nor does it set a deadline for a decision on action on GSP privileges. It is the beginning of a formal, collaborative process to work with the Sri Lankan government to address the concerns in the petition and work to improve support of and adherence to worker rights. GSP privileges will continue throughout the process.
The USG has a strong working relationship with the Government of Sri Lanka
on labor issues. As an example of our productive working relationship,
the U.S. Government has recently sponsored a labor program, administered
through the International Labor Organization. This program emphasizes a
tripartite dialogue on labor issues with the Government of Sri Lanka, employers