President Designates South Sudan as GSP Beneficiary, Suspends Argentina’s GSP Status
March 29, 2012
On March 26, 2012, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation designating the Republic of South Sudan as a beneficiary country of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and suspending Argentina’s GSP eligibility. The proclamation further designates South Sudan as a least developed beneficiary developing country. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, once actions in the proclamation take full effect, almost 4,900 products from South Sudan will be eligible for duty-free access to the United States.
The presidential proclamation states that President Obama determined it is appropriate to suspend Argentina’s GSP beneficiary status because Argentina has not acted in good faith in enforcing arbitral awards in favor of U.S. citizens or a corporation, partnership, or association that is 50 percent or more beneficially owned by U.S. citizens. According to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Argentina’s government has not paid two longstanding arbitral awards in favor of U.S. companies, which were awarded under the United States-Argentina bilateral investment treaty and the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States. These arbitral awards, which amount to over $300 million, were first rendered in 2005 and 2006. Ambassador Kirk, in a statement regarding the President’s proclamation, urged the Government of Argentina to pay the awards and noted that such payment would allow the United States to consider reinstating Argentina’s GSP eligibility.
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