Steptoe Preserves Important Duty-Free Benefits for the Indian PET Resin Industry

July 7, 2009

Washington, DC – The International Trade & Investment practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP scored an important victory for the Indian PET resin industry, which will allow the Indian industry to continue importing PET resin into the United States on a duty-free basis.  On June 30, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the continuation of duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for PET resin from India. 

The GSP program creates trade opportunities for developing countries in order to encourage broad-based economic development and economic reform and liberalization. GSP is designed to promote the economic development of developing countries through the expansion of  exports. Under the terms of the program, the U.S. industry can file a petition opposing duty-free treatment.

Susan G. Esserman, partner and chair of the International Department at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, served as counsel to the Forum of PET Manufacturers, an organization of Indian producers of polyethylene terephtalate (PET) resin. PET resin is an important industrial material used in the manufacture of plastic containers for water, soft drinks, and food products.

“This is an important victory for Indian PET resin manufacturers and sends a message affirming the importance of the U.S.- India bilateral trade relationship and of keeping our markets open, especially as our countries confront the global economic downturn,” stated Ambassador Esserman.

Steptoe’s India practice includes leading attorneys from the firm’s international trade & investment, regulatory, competition, dispute resolution, corporate, litigation, tax, telecommunications, technology, life sciences, intellectual property, and legislative practices.  The India practice is led by Ambassador Susan Esserman who previously held four senior positions in the US government.  While in government, Ambassador Esserman negotiated several trade agreements with the Government of India, sought to elevate the US-India economic relationship, and worked to expand bilateral trade and convergence of US-India interests. She remains active in promoting US-India trade ties as a Board Member of the US-India Business Council and through her law practice. In 2009, Chambers Asia, a prominent legal publication, named Steptoe’s International Trade & Investment practice the market leader in Asia and awarded Ambassador Esserman the highest ranking.

About Steptoe & Johnson LLP

In more than 60 years of practice, Steptoe & Johnson LLP has gained a national and international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has offices in Washington, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Century City, London, and Brussels. For more information, visit