- Published on Saturday, 30 June 2012 16:07
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United States after its annual review has announced the continuation of the GSP trade concessions to Sri Lanka.
Lanka gets duty free export rights to over 5,000 items including tires, activated carbon, rubber gloves, plastic products, and kitchenware valued at 135 million US dollar a year under a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to the US.
The scheme came under review after trade unions petitioned the US saying there were shortcomings in Sri Lanka's recognition of labour rights. The review has been closed with no change to benefits given to Sri Lanka, the US embassy said.
"The closure of the GSP country practice review of Sri Lanka was based on the Sri Lankan government’s noteworthy efforts to address worker rights issues over the past few years," US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement. This welcome outcome to the review demonstrates that GSP remains an effective tool for engaging GSP beneficiary countries on worker rights
A US embassy statement trade union facilitation centres have been established in three of the largest export processing zones, progress has been made in probing and resolving unfair labour practices cases.
Sri Lanka and the US will continue to engage on worker rights issue throug a newly established 'labour affairs committee' of the US - Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Council, the statement said.