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Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of 123 designated beneficiary countries and territories. The GSP program also supports U.S. jobs. U.S. businesses imported $19.9billion worth of products under the GSP program in 2012, including many inputs used in U.S. manufacturing. According to a 2005 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, over 80,000 American jobs are associated with moving GSP imports from the docks to farmers, manufacturers, and retail shelves. GSP was instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974.

Products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include: most manufactured items; many types of chemicals, minerals and building stone; jewelry; many types of carpets; and certain agricultural and fishery products. Among the products that are not eligible for GSP duty-free treatment are: most textiles and apparel; watches; and most footwear, handbags, and luggage products.

Legal authorization of the GSP program expired on July 31, 2013. The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that would extend the authorization of GSP beyond this date.

Frequently Asked Questions on GSP expiration 

The GSP Guidebook provides basic information on the program.

GSP by the Numbers (a fact sheet on the program)

Recent Federal Register Notices related to the GSP program can be found below at the Federal Register Notices tab. GSP country and product petitions and related public comments are available at www.regulations.gov.

GSP Section of the 2012 USTR Annual Report (see Chapter V.B.8 on pages 191-195)