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US extends GSP facilities for 700 Indonesian export products

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The US government has officially extended the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facilities for 700 Indonesian export products, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a virtual press conference on Sunday.

The US extended the GSP facilities after the US Trade Representative (USTR) had since March 2018 evaluated GSP facilities granted to recipient countries including Indonesia.

"GSP is a trade facility in the form of import duty exemption the US government has granted unilaterally to developing countries in the world since 1974. Indonesia received the GSP facilities from the US for the first time ever in 1980," she said.

She said the Indonesian government has taken proactive steps to follow the process of import duty exemptions at various meetings with the US government representatives, including that with the US Secretary of State Michael Richard Pompeo during his visit to Indonesia in late October 2020.

"Indonesia has always raised the GSP issue at all meetings with the US. During the US Secretary of State's visit to Indonesia three days ago, we discussed again the GSP issue both at the bilateral meeting with me and during a courtesy call on the Indonesian President," she said.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar said Indonesia will likely be the only Asian country to receive the extension of GSP with reduction or cut from the US.

In the post-evaluation, 3,572 export products have been listed in the 8-digit US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or HS 8-digit receiving the GSP facilities. Of the total, 729 are export products from Indonesia.

"Indonesian export products receiving GSP facilities in 2019 came from 729 products out of 3,572 products receiving the GDP preferential tariff," Retno said.

She noted a rise in the value of Indonesian exports to the US using the GSP facilities this year.

"Indonesia's exports to the US using the GSP facilities from January to August 2020 were valued at US$1.87 billion (nearly Rp27.3 trillion), up 10.6 percent compared to the same period a year earlier,” the minister said.

According to data from the US International Trade Commission (USITC), Indonesia's exports using the GSP facilities to the US last year reached US$2.61 billion (nearly Rp38.2 trillion), or 13.1 percent of Indonesia's total exports to the US standing at US$20.1 billion (about Rp293.86 trillion). (Antaranews)

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