Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate Announcing Intention to Amend the Generalized System of Preferences for Developing Countries

March 17, 1981

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

In accordance with section 502(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, I herewith notify the House (Senate) of my intention to issue an Executive order proclaiming that all member countries of the Andean Group (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) and of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) shall be treated, respectively, as one country under section 502(a) (3) for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences. I have determined that the Andean Pact and ASEAN and the respective member countries of each meet all the requirements of a beneficiary developing country set forth in section 502.

My decision was made after giving due consideration to the following factors as required by section 502(c):

(1) The requests of the Andean Group and ASEAN that they each be designated as an association of countries which is contributing to comprehensive regional economic integration among its members through appropriate means, including inter alia, the reduction of duties;

(2) The level of economic development of the member countries of each of the associations, including their per capita gross national product, the general living standards of their populations, the levels of health, nutrition, education and housing of their populations, and the degree of industrialization of the countries;

(3) The fact that other major developed countries (specifically, the European Community and Japan) are treating such associations as one country under their generalized tariff preference schemes;

(4) The fact that these associations provide the United States with equitable and reasonable access to their markets and my expectation that these policies will continue.

In making the decision to designate each of these associations, I have also considered Congressional interest in encouraging regional economic integration among the developing countries as a means of fostering the political and economic viability of these countries and fulfilling their development goals. (See House Report 96 - 317, p. 200; Senate Report 96 - 249, pp. 271 - 273.)

All member countries of the Andean Group and of ASEAN are currently designated beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences. Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand were designated as beneficiary developing countries in Executive Order 11888 of November 24, 1975, effective January 1, 1976. Ecuador, Indonesia and Venezuela were named beneficiary developing countries in Executive Order 12204 of March 27, 1980, following fulfillment of the requirements specified in section 502(e) (2) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The provisions of that Executive order became effective March 30, 1980. As a result, all member countries of the Andean Group and of ASEAN, respectively, may be treated as one country with respect to eligible articles for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences, as provided for in section 503(b) (1) (B) as amended.


Ronald Reagan

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to George Bush, President of the Senate.