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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Fiji Confident In Appeal For Preferential Trade List
If appeal fails, 15,000 jobs may be affected in Fiji

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 26, 2012) – The Fiji government is confident that their submissions on why it should not be removed from the United States' Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade list will be heard and a positive outcome will prevail.

Permanent Secretary for industry and trade Shaheen Ali told FijiLive ten companies from the private sector also made their submissions apart from government and a post hearing brief with the United States Trade Representative was held.

This was after the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) and other unions joined hands to try and stop Fiji to benefit from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences Scheme.

The decision to suspend Fiji from United States' Generalized System of Preferences trade list will affect eight percent of the population and 15,000 jobs could be lost among thirty-nine companies that export products using this preference.

In an earlier interview with Radio Australia, the U.S. trade union movement said that suspending Fiji’s access to the U.S. market is the last resort, at least not right away, and that they would prefer the interim government work with the authorities to improve workers rights.

The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty free entry for up to 5,000 products imported by the U.S.

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