June 22,1999


TAA, GSP, CBI, and Africa Trade Bills

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee today favorably reported out by voice vote four trade bills, The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, The Generalized System of Preferences, The U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Enhancement Act and The Sub-Saharan African Growth and Opportunity Act.


The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program was last reauthorized in P.L. 105-277, the omnibus appropriations bill passed at the end of the 105th Congress. It is set to expire on June 30, 1999. This bill will reauthorize the program through September 30, 2001.

The Generalized System of Preferences was also last extended in the final omnibus appropriations measure of the 105th Congress and is set to expire on June 30, 1999. This legislation will extend the program until June 30, 2004.

The U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Enhancement Act. This legislation would expand the existing CBI by providing for additional tariff preferences on a number of products not previously covered by the program. Those benefits are conditioned on the eligible beneficiary countries' trade policies, their participation and cooperation in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas Agreement and other factors. The additional benefits would be in effect through December 31, 2004.

The Sub-Saharan African Growth and Opportunity Act. The bill approved by the Committee today has four primary components. First, the bill provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with enhanced benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences ("GSP") program. Second, the bill provides quota-free access to the United States for apparel products produced in eligible sub-Saharan African countries using U.S. fabric. Third, the bill directs the President to begin plans for implementing a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa free trade area. Fourth, the bill creates a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum.