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AKIPRESS.COM - U.S. President Barack Obama intends to withdraw special privileges granted to Russia because the country is too economically advanced to need preferential treatment reserved for less developed countries, The Hindu cited the White House.
Obama notified Congress that he intends to remove Russia from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program as Moscow is “sufficiently advanced” to warrant any preferential treatment.
Once Russia’s eligibility is withdrawn, which would be effected via a presidential proclamation, U.S. imports of GSP-eligible goods from Russia will be subject to normal, non-preferential rates of duty, President Obama in his notification said.
The purpose of the program, which allowed $19.9 billion in imports to enter the U.S. duty-free in 2012, is to assist developing countries to use trade to boost their economic development, U.S. Trade Representatives (USTR) Mike Froman said.
“Russia has advanced beyond the level of economic development and competitiveness for GSP eligibility. As such, Russia should no longer qualify to receive GSP benefits,” he said in a statement.
“The President’s decision is consistent with the World Bank’s designation of Russia as a ‘high income country’ as well as actions by the European Union and Canada to remove Russia from similar programs,” Froman explained.