Senator Carper Emphasizes the Importance of Trade Preference Programs

Today at the Senate Finance Committee hearing “Revitalizing and Renewing GSP, AGOA and Other Trade Preference Programs,” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) discussed the importance of Trade Preference Programs, including the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). During the hearing, Senator Carper highlighted how these programs have been essential to increasing U.S. investments in international economic development. He also underscored how these programs have improved U.S. relations with our allies and partners around the world.

Senator Carper called attention to the ways in which Trade Preference Programs have created jobs while increasing global environmental standards:

“The Generalized System of Preferences program has allowed countries to access U.S. markets, to create new jobs, and to diversify their economies. I was proud to work with former Senator Rob Portman to add a more robust environmental criteria to the Generalized System of Preferences program when we passed the reauthorization as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act [through the Senate…]. This bipartisan product would have taken a long overdue and important step forward in incentivizing developing countries around the world to improve their environmental standards.”

Senator Carper also emphasized the important role AGOA plays in expanding economic development in Africa: 

“Africa is the home of the fastest growing population on our planet and it’s expected to account for one quarter of the world’s population by 2050. The African Growth and Opportunity Act has seen tremendous success since it was created. In 2023, I had the privilege to travel with a number of our colleagues on a bipartisan CODEL, where I learned about the impact of the AGOA program and how it has supported new economic growth through trade and investment, and created new jobs for hundreds, maybe thousands, of Kenyans.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here.