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​US to withdraw Russia from GSP trade benefits program

Published time: May 07, 2014 20:10
Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte

President Barack Obama has notified Congress of his plan to drop Russia from the US Generalized system of Preferences (GSP) trade benefits program, the White House said. The program allows duty-free imports for certain goods.

Obama sent the notification to Congress on Wednesday. The White House stated that Russia is “sufficiently advanced economically” and no longer needs special treatment.

“Russia's actions regarding Ukraine, while not directly related to the President's decision regarding Russia's eligibility for GSP benefits, make it particularly appropriate to take this step now,” Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, stated in the email to Reuters.

The move means that Russian goods will be subject to import customs duties in the US.

The US GSP is a program which is targeted at promoting 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,” according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The US has already imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian businessmen and politicians, as well as the country’s fourteenth largest lending institution, Bank Rossiya. Russia responded initially by imposing its own sanctions on high-ranking US officials.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in late April that Russia faces “unprecedented” economic challenges, but that sanctions will make Russia stronger.

Among the businessmen affected by the sanctions is head of Russia’s state-owned Rosneft, Igor Sechin. Sechin linked the measure to Rosneft’s activity and considered it as “an appreciation” of the company’s “efficiency”.

Comments (53)


Dimitri Ratz 08.05.2014 16:28

No 08.05.2014 15:40

Awwww--not the GSP, Barack!

Ok ok, you can have Crimea back and install a missile offense there, after we empty it of our ships.


(Fooled you, Barrack. Never happen)


Lol!! Barrack doesn't believe satellite pictures of Russians leaving the Ukraine border. He thinks they dug into the dirt, all 40,000 while those visible left for show. His biting his nails, gray hairs coming out, can't even digest with paranoia.


Anna Charles 08.05.2014 16:22

The US is behaving in such a spiteful, disproportionate manner that it begs the question - why?
Other than intervening in Crimea, peacefully and democratically, what has Russia or their people done to deserve such vicious reprisals on their economy? Witness what international measures the US goes to to protect perceived US interests or entitlements. Boot on the other foot and the US rhetoric would be a complete 180.


Yuri Ivanovich 08.05.2014 16:11

Ever notice what a gold-digger that president is? He only goes to countries who could give him large sums of money. Since he's having a temper tantrum with Russia right now he's acting like a grade-school girl who has been shunned.

View all comments (53)
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