News Release

PBBM asks US Congress to fast track reauthorization of GSP program

As the country forges closer security and economic integration with the United States and Japan, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. appealed to the US Congress on Friday to fast track the reauthorization of the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program for the benefit of the Philippines.

Established by the Trade Act of 1974, GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference program, promoting economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

The program provides opportunities for many of the world’s poorest countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.

Speaking during the Philippine-US Business Forum in Washington DC, President Marcos pointed out that the future with the US will be sustained not only through the country’s ironclad security and defense alliance, but also through closer economic integration.

“For this reason, we appeal to the U.S. Congress to fast track the reauthorization of the U.S. GSP program which has benefitted beneficiary countries such as the Philippines,” Marcos said during the forum.

“On the other hand, the Philippines is also a major market for US products, and in 2021, based on data from the US Department of Agriculture, the Philippines is the 8th largest market for US agricultural exports and the top market in Southeast Asia,” he said.

The Philippines in 2021 also imported around US$3.5 billion worth of agricultural goods from the United States, the President said, adding that it is not surprising that US agriculture and food exporters are advocating lower tariffs and expanded market access for their products in the Philippines.

At the same time, the President said there is a demand from both the US and the Philippine private sector for engagement in a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

“The benefits for concluding an FTA together with a Critical Minerals Agreement between both our countries will be transformative and will create new jobs, strengthen supply chains, establish new businesses, and upskill our workforce,” President Marcos pointed out.

In 2023, semiconductors and integrated circuits were the Philippines’ biggest exports to the US amounting to US$3.1 billion, or 23.3 percent of its total exports to the North American country.

During the US’ first Presidential Trade and Investment Mission (PTIM) to the Philippines last March, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the American companies’ planned investment in at least US$1 billion worth of projects that will create educational and career opportunities for Filipinos.

The US was also the Philippines’ 4th largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) last year. PND