Presentation of GSP

U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. Established by the Trade Act of 1974, (this program aims to foster the integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system and promote development through trade)
GSP promotes economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories.


US Tunisia trade key data

Tunisia is currently the 99th largest goods trading partner with $931 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2019.
Goods exports totaled $461 million
Goods imports totaled $470 million
The U.S. goods trade deficit with Tunisia was $9 million in 2019.
According to the US Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods to Tunisia supported an estimated 3 thousand jobs in the USA in 2015 (latest data available).

Top Export Category to the US

•U.S. goods export from Tunisia totaled $470 million in 2019 up 44.2% from 2009
•The top export categories
•electrical machinery ($102 million)
•animal or vegetable fats and oils -olive oil ($97 million)
•woven apparel ($58 million)
•machinery ($49 million)
•and edible fruit & nuts (date, fig) ($19 million)

Top 25 of GSP underutilized codes results in loss of $28 millions USD for Tunisia exporters

USTR data 2019


•About 20% of Tunisia companies eligible to a GSP privilege are not claiming or underutilizing GSP – mainly in the automotive – aeronautics
Increase quotas
•About 80% of Tunisia exports under GSP are food related items. The quotas are nearly fully utilized (95%)


ADD HS codes

There is a large untapped potential in the automotive (electronics – cables, etc.)
(cf. ITC data –Trade DSM)
•Members requested for new HS: fruits / automotive / Dates Paste / Packaged Dates / Tuna and Sardines in olive oil / Tires / Galvanized tubes and coils / Electrical sub-assembly Cards Equipped with an Electronic Integrated Circuit (Smart Cards) / Printed circuits board / plastic parts / Aluminum box / Articles / sanitary ware / Ceramics / Floor tiles

Advocacy for GSP

Discussion with USTR
•Better understand how countries are evaluated and GSP reconducted
•Addendum of HS codes that can promote new sectors (cf. success story of arts and crafts)-
•also help Tunisia better integration since GSP represents only 32% of traded goods with US
•Technical assistance – capacity building programs (cosmetics – drugs)
Communication on GSP
•Discussion with private sector to increase awareness
•Modelization with international trade specialist to understand the impact of GSP on new sectors
•Consultation with agri-food sector to better understand needs related to GSP (Quotas, renewal, etc.)