Europe is reviewing the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), its broadest-based trade policy to support developing country exports. The European Commission has proposed the most radical changes in the scheme’s three-decade history, arguing that this will ‘focus the GSP preferences on the countries most in need’. But will it? This Project Briefing summarises ODI research, including case studies on Bangladesh, China, India, Kenya, Madagascar and Viet Nam to identify the potential impact of the proposals on key exports. The research finds that only a very small part of any gains will accrue to poor countries and that workers in the graduates may be just as poor and vulnerable as those in beneficiary states.
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