Environmental Standards and the GSP: A Proposal

Environmental Standards and the GSP: A Proposal

November 17, 2009

The United States has long granted trade preferences to developing countries that meet various criteria. These criteria, which are stipulated by the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), have changed with time — reflecting U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. 

While the criteria include non-support for terrorism, enforcement of intellectual property rights, and respect for internationally recognized worker rights, the GSP does not include an environmental provision. 

With the current U.S. GSP program set to expire at the end of December, the following proposal lays out a policy framework for the ratification and implementation of environmental standards into U.S. trade agreements.