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Pakistan’s Export to USA

US imports from Pakistan up by 49 percent in 2012, The United States imports from Pakistan surged by 49 percent in 2012 under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme, which offers duty-free market access to the United States, reaching $195 million. "This represents one of the largest increases among all major GSP beneficiary countries," said senior US officials during a presentation at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Wednesday. Commerce Ministry has arranged video conference with the US officials in Washington so that Pakistani exporters get awareness of unutilised avenues under the GSP programme. Official documents available with Business Recorder reveal that during 2011 the share of GSP generated exports was consistently sliding since it peaked in 2009. In 2011, GSP exports were 3.4 percent of Pakistan's total exports. This compares very poorly to the 5.4 percent share such exports had in the overall figures for 2009. According to the Commerce Ministry what is more worrisome is the fairly significant contraction in the value of GSP exports last year. During a seminar for members of the Pakistani business community, senior officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) explained how Pakistani exporters can further take advantage of duty-free access to the United States currently available for over 3,500 Pakistani products under the GSP program. USTR identified all GSP-eligible products and highlighted how Pakistani exporters who are actively looking for potential US buyers can use GSP to increase their exports to the United States. Deputy Assistant Trade Representative Bill Jackson told participants, "Pakistan can grow its duty-free exports to the United States even more. Pakistan exported $3.6 billion worth of goods to the United States in 2012, yet only 5.7 percent of that amount took advantage of the duty-free treatment available under the GSP Programme. Pakistan therefore has the opportunity to expand its exports to the United States substantially under GSP." Citing an example of how Pakistani exporters can enhance sales to the United States under GSP, Jackson noted that Pakistani exports of gemstones, precious metals, and jewellery to the United States showed impressive growth of 300 percent in 2012 - totalling $32.4 million - following a previous training session that raised awareness about available market access. Gemstones, precious metals, and jewellery are among the many items eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP Programme. Jackson advised Pakistani exporters of GSP-eligible products that there are several ways to make the most of the available tariff advantage. "First, consider using GSP as a marketing tool with US buyers. US importers may be willing to buy new products from Pakistan or buy more of a particular product if they know that the item is eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP. Many US importers are also unaware that a product may be eligible. As a result, they often pay duties on these products even when they don't need to do so," he emphasised. Among the GSP-eligible products from Pakistan on which duties were unnecessarily paid in 2012 were leather sports gloves, mittens, and mitts, certain non-cotton pillows, cushions, and similar furnishings; certain athletic articles and equipment; and miscellaneous iron and steel articles. Pakistani exporters may also wish to examine whether there are GSP-eligible products that they are currently sending to markets other than the United States. Pakistani exporters in major business hubs including Karachi, Islamabad, Gujrat, Peshawar, Faisalabad, and Sialkot attended this live video-conference presentation by USTR at the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan in Karachi and at many chambers of commerce and industry across Pakistan. The broadcast was part of the US Mission to Pakistan's entrepreneurship programme, Khushhali ka Safar - a Journey to Prosperity, which supports Pakistani entrepreneurs. This initiative is just one part of a comprehensive US economic growth assistance programme which includes expanding irrigation by more than 200,000 acres near the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams; constructing more than 1,000 kms of roads to connect communities and facilitate trade; modernising dairy farms in Punjab; and launching private equity investment funds to fuel the growth of small and medium businesses. The sources said US is requesting Pakistan to lift ban on import of live cattle from USA to Pakistan which is not being entertained by Islamabad. The ban was imposed in 2009 due to incidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) commonly known as 'mad cow disease' in the US cattle stock. Pakistan is free of BSE.

Trading dynamics

Main trading partners of the US are Canada with a share of 17.8 per cent, Mexico with a share of 11.3 per cent , China with a share of 11.1 per cent, Japan with a share of 10.4 per cent and Germany holding a share of 5.3 per cent. US is Pakistan’s major export market with a huge share of 25 per cent in exports of the country. Main items of export from Pakistan to US are cotton yarn, woven fabrics, textiles and apparel, rice, leather products, surgical and sports goods. Main items of imports from US are boiler machinery and mechanical appliances, telecom and electrical equipments, wheat and petroleum products .