Feb 4, 1988


GENEVA FEBRUARY 27 (IFDA)— Chile complained in the GATT Council Tuesday about the U.S. action in removing Chile from list of beneficiary countries entitled to duty-free exports to the U.S. under the U.S. scheme of generalised system of preferences (GSP).

The U.S. Administration, acting under the U.S. trade and tariff act provisions, removed Chile from the list of beneficiaries on the ground that Chilean workers did not enjoy internationally recognised labour standards.

Chile has sought consultations on the issue with the united state under article XXII (I) of GATT - the preliminary step for raising a dispute in GATT.

Chile’s GATT delegate, Amb. Maria Barros complained that the U.S. action was contrary to the provisions of part IV of the GATT, and contrary to the understandings on which the GSP was based, namely non-discrimination among third world countries.

The U.S. delegate, Amb. Samuels defended the U.S. action as being fully consistent with its GATT obligations, and in conformity with the terms of the U.S. GSP schemes, and the criteria listed there.

The criteria listed, Samuels is reported to have explained were essential in order to have a programme at all, and it applied to all potential beneficiaries.

The determination that Chile was not observing "workers' rights" had been made after a thorough review.

A GATT spokesman said that Chile’s position was supported in principle by Brazil, Uruguay, Jamaica, Hong Kong, India and Nicaragua, and that the Council took note of the statements, but took no action.

The spokesman could provide few other details.