On December 27, 2017, the Federal Register published Proclamation 9687 of December 22, 2017 – To Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other Purposes. The Proclamation:
- restores eligibility for The Gambia and Swaziland as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS);
- modifies the HTS to provide, through December 31, 2018, duty-free access into the United States under the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement through December 31, 2008, for specified quantities of certain agricultural products of Israel;
- modifies the HTS to conform to Harmonized System modifications recommended by the US International Trade Commission pursuant to section 1205 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988;
- modifies the HTS to implement staged reductions under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) ;
- revises Annexes 4.1, 3.25, and 3.29 of the CAFTA-DR to ensure that the tariff and certain other treatment accorded under the CAFTA-DR to originating goods will continue to be provided under the tariff categories that were proclaimed in Proclamation 7987;
- modifies Annex I of Proclamation 9466 (Pharmaceutical and Chemical Appendix), as provided in Annex II of Proclamation 9687 to correct one inadvertent omission and to make certain additional conforming changes; and
- suspends Ukraine and restores Argentina’s eligibility under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which had been suspended in 2012.
The suspension of certain Ukrainian GSP benefits will take effect 120 days after the proclamation’s publication in the Federal Register. According to USTR, Ukraine can remedy the suspension by “improving the current legal regime governing royalty reimbursement to right holders’ organizations.” Argentina’s addition to GSP eligibility will take effect Jan. 1.