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High Level Trade Dialogue (HLTD)

The High Level Trade Dialogue (HLTD) is an existing framework between the United States of America and Georgia, which serves as a platform for deepening bilateral economic relations and has the potential to increase trade and investment between the two countries. Throughout the last two and a half decades U.S.-Georgia economic cooperation has been increasing and developing into a strong partnership. The countries have signed a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and a bilateral trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA). Georgia can export wide verity of products duty-free to the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Through a high-level trade and investment dialogue, the two countries have discussed a range of options to further improve economic cooperation and bilateral trade as well as attract U.S. Companies to establish a strong presence in the country should help to accelerate future trade liberalization with the United States.

Chronology:

  • January 30, 2012 – Presidents of the United States of America and Georgia agree to further deepen economic cooperation through High-Level Trade Dialogue, including the possibility of Free Trade Agreement.
  • April 20, 2012 – Meeting between the Prime Minister of Georgia, Nikoloz Gilauri and the United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk. The sides agreed on the format of HLTD and the topics to be discussed during the Dialogue. Click Here for more  
  • May 29, 2012 – First round of HLTD convened in Washington D.C. chaired by the Deputy USTR Miriam Sapiro from the U.S. side and Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister Tamar Kovziridze from the Georgian side. Sides discussed ways of increasing bilateral trade and investment, including the possibility of a free trade agreement, an updated investment agreement, and other measures that could facilitate trade and investment.
  • October 30, 2015 – Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the USTR Michael Froman met to further discuss possibilities for deepening trade relations between two countries. The sides announced endorsement of the U.S.-Georgia “Statement of Principles for International Investment” and “Trade Principles for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services.”
  • October 30, 2015Assistant US Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East L. Daniel Mullaney and Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze continued to co-chair the second meeting of the US-Georgia HLTD.
  • 2009 – Present – Multiple working groups have convened on discussing economic, trade and energy issues within the format of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, signed on January 9, 2009 by the two countries.

Related links:

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provide opportunities for many of the world’s developing countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.   GSP is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. Established by the Trade Act of 1974, GSP promotes economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 120 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

Approximately 3,500 different products from Georgia are eligible to enter the United States duty-free under the GSP program in value of $124 million.

A GSP-eligible import must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be included on the list of GSP-eligible articles;
  • Must be imported into the United States directly from Georgia, without entering the commerce of a third country;
  • The U.S. importer must claim GSP duty-free treatment by placing an “A” in front of the U.S. tariff line number that identifies the imported article on U.S. Customs and Border Protection entry documentation;
  • Must be the growth, product, or manufacture of Georgia, with the cost of the Georgian materials plus the cost of processing equal to at least 35 percent of the appraised value of the article at the time of entry into the United States.

How can More Georgian Products be Exported Using GSP Benefits and Other Duty-Free Options?

  • Use GSP to Market Products: Because GSP-eligible products are permitted to enter the United States duty-free, they have up to a 18 percent cost advantage over comparable goods from non-GSP beneficiaries. Georgian exporters should be sure to use this fact in marketing their goods to U.S. buyers.
  • Export New Products under GSP: There may be goods that Georgia already exports to other countries that would be eligible for duty-free treatment in the United States.
  • Export Handicrafts: Many handicraft exports are duty-free, such as: gemstones and jewelry traditional games paintings, sculpture, and wall hangings many types of carpets, kilims, and rugs wooden statuettes, boxes, and other wood items wind, string, and drum musical instruments picture frames some types of hats

GSP Eligible Products of interest to Georgian producers or have been exported in the past