- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) — U.S. President Bush has signed a proclamation designating Afghanistan as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences program, the White House announced Monday.

As a least-developed GSP beneficiary country, Afghanistan will be able to take advantage of duty-free tariff treatment into the United States on approximately 5,700 products.

"This GSP designation marks an important step in Afghanistan's return to the world trading system," the announcement said.

Increased opportunities for trade will help Afghanistan build an economy that can offer its citizens a more prosperous future, the White House said.

GSP is a program that grants duty-free treatment to specified products that are imported from more than 140 designated developing countries and territories.

GSP was reauthorized when President Bush signed the Trade Act of 2002 last Aug. 6.

This program underscores the administration commitment to providing trade opportunities to developing countries as a way to encourage broad-based economic development, the White House said.

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