[Excerpt] Since 1974, Congress has created multiple trade preference programs designed to foster economic growth, reform, and development in less developed countries. These programs give temporary, non-reciprocal, duty-free U.S. market access to select exports of eligible countries. Congress conducts regular oversight of these programs, repeatedly revising and extending them. Two major issues face the 111th Congress: (1) the expiration of two preference programs by December 31, 2010; and (2) possible legislative action on broader reform of the preference programs based on comprehensive reviews in hearings held in both the House and the Senate earlier in this Congress.
This report discusses the major U.S. trade preference programs, their possible economic effects, stakeholder interests, and legislative options.