WASHINGTON – President Bush has added Afghanistan to a list of developing countries that get preferential treatment on goods exported to the United States.
The Generalized System of Preferences gives the president the authority to give the duty treatment. Bush signed an order Friday designating Afghanistan a beneficiary of the program, and the White House announced the step on Monday.
Bush named Afghanistan a "least-developed beneficiary," a move that will allow the country to export about 5,700 products to the United States without tariffs, the White House said.
"This GSP designation marks an important step in Afghanistan's return to the world trading system," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "Increased opportunities for trade will help Afghanistan build an economy that can offer its citizens a more prosperous future."
GSP grants duty-free treatment to certain products from 140 developing countries and territories.
Bush revoked Chile's preferential treatment for red raspberries after the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission concluded Chile sold the fruit in the United States at unfair prices.