Saturday, September 24, 2011

Waiting for GSP

There are things that happen in Washington that are a complete mystery to me. One such mystery is this kabuki dance that happens periodically when the Generalized System of Preferences expires. Everyone is pretty confident that it will eventually be renewed. But, despite that knowledge, Congress spends time futzing around with it (and similar programs like AGOA). It gets attached to other things that some legislator wants and used as leverage in negotiations.

Here's a crazy idea: Someone should introduce a bill just making it permanent unless and until repealed. Presumably, this could be coupled with a new set of rules defining beneficial developing country, if that is part of the political problem. If that were to happen, traders would know what to expect and there would be none of this administrative hassle of retroactive application.

Until something that reasonable happens, we have to put up with the sausage factory that is Congress.

So, with the preamble, I am letting you know that the Senate has passed an amended House GSP bill that also includes MPF adjustments and an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance. Because there were amendments, this has to go back to the House for reconciliation before it can go to the President. According to press reports, the House hopes that the bill can be considered along with the pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.

Here is a USTR press release on the developments.

No comments: