Canada re-instates GPT and LDCT, abolishing tariffs on garment imports from Myanmar
The Canadian government re-instated GPT and LDCT (General Preferential Tariff and Least Developed Country Tariff) entitlements for Myanmar on March 13th, 2015.
Canada first announced its intention to re-instate GPT and LDCT entitlements for Myanmar in an announcement in the Canada Gazette on November 8th, 2014. This announcement allowed for a 30 day public comment period on the proposed change. The Canadian Embassy stated that only supportive and favorable comments were received in response to the proposed policy change.
Similar to the United States, Canada previously enjoyed robust trade in garments with Myanmar before a period of Western sanctions and international isolation provoked a collapse in orders starting in 2002. In 2001, Canada imported $29.5 million (USD) worth of garment products from Myanmar, but this fell to practically zero after Canada imposed sanctions on Myanmar in 2007.
Even without preferential trade incentives, Canada’s garment imports from Myanmar rebounded in 2014 to reach $4.2 million (USD). However, with the re-instatement of GPT and LDCT Myanmar has suddenly become a very attractive sourcing location for Canadian importers of apparel products who wish to take advantage of this zero-tariff trade policy.
“By eliminating tariffs on imports from Myanmar, the Government of Canada aims to increase trade and build stronger ties between our two countries” wrote Canadian Ambassador Mark McDowell in a letter sent to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association explaining the new policy.
Canada has now followed the European Union in promoting duty-free & quota free trade with Myanmar. The EU included Myanmar under its “everything but arms” scheme in mid 2013 to boost imports from Myanmar into the EU. The EU’s abolishment of tariffs and quotas for Myanmar has contributed to a massive uptick in orders from EU brands and retailers resulting in a near doubling of garment exports from Myanmar to the EU in the period from 2012 to 2014.
For news coverage on this topic: Canada Abandons Tariffs for Myanmar Imports