The US has provided duty-free access to travel goods from Nepal under its annual trade preference programme, which provides opportunities to many of the world’s poorest countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.
The Annual Product Review under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme was announced by the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office.
The measure adds new duty-free status for travel goods such as luggage, backpacks and handbags for Least Developed Beneficiary Developing Countries (LDBDCs), including Nepal.
The new rule makes these products eligible for duty-free status beginning July 1.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Nepali businesses to expand their exports to US markets,” said the US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz.
“A strong commitment to open-market policies, a stable and transparent legal environment that secures property rights, policies that foster dynamic entrepreneurial activity, and strategic infrastructure investments will help Nepal make the most of this opportunity,” she said.
In 2015, Nepal ranked second, after Cambodia, of all LDC exporters of luggage products to the US. Its exports of these products have grown 7 per cent since 2014, totaling USD 1.8 million last year.
US imports of travel and luggage goods products totaled almost USD 10 billion in 2015.
US trade preference programmes provide opportunities for many of the world’s poorest countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.
About 5,000 products from 122 beneficiary developing countries and territories, including 43 least-developed countries, are eligible for duty-free treatment when exported to the US under the GSP programme, which is a 40-year-old trade preference programme.