The first provision of the Platt amendment would have been violated if Cuba had wanted to conclude a trade agreement with an Asian country in 1903 (as proposed in the question), with the exception of the United States agreement. The GSTP is a preferential trade agreement designed to boost trade between developing countries. It first came into force in 1989 and is managed by UNCTAD. The signatories of the recent pact, the Sao Paulo Circular Protocol, agree to offer each other inter-annual preferential tariff treatment for their intragroup merchandise exchanges, after sufficient ratifications. 1. Cuba was unable to enter into a treaty with another foreign country that would „impede“ Cuba`s independence. The participants` committee is the governing body created as part of the GSTP agreement. It is made up of the 43 parties to the GSTP agreement. The Committee is chaired by Mr. Wafaa Bassim, Egypt`s Ambassador to the United Nations and other specialized institutions in Switzerland, and is overseen by the UNCTAD secretariat through its International Trade in Goods and Services and Goods. The signatories of the Sao Paulo cycle have agreed to reduce their tariffs for at least 70% of tariffed products by 20%. The tariff concessions that were exchanged cumulatively under the pact include approximately 47,000 tariff lines.
The effective implementation of these commitments is expected to bring considerable economic benefits after the protocol comes into force. The ratification of Cuba brings the signatories closer to this case. In January 2013, Cuba notified UNCTAD of the completion of its ratification process and presented the ratification instrument. Cuba is the third signatory to the Sao Paulo Protocol on the entire ratification procedures. The other two signatories are India and Malaysia. In accordance with the Sao Paulo Protocol, ratification of at least four signatories is necessary for it to enter into force. In other words, the ratification of another country will effectively implement the commitments made in the cycle of tariff reduction between the signatories concerned. A representative of Cuba agreed with the GSTP agreement and said that Cuba had made considerable efforts to obtain ratification of the protocol, as it attaches the greatest importance to the protocol as an instrument for promoting South-South trade.
The official said cuba had invited other signatories who have not yet ratified to follow this example. Other participants in the meeting congratulated Cuba on its performance and said it was an important step towards the early implementation of the results of the Sao Paulo cycle. The Sao Paulo Circular Protocol contains the results of the trade negotiations under the third round of GSTP negotiations that began in 2004 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the sidelines of the four-year UNCTAD XI conference. The round was concluded at a GSTP ministerial meeting held on 15 December 2010 in Foz do Iguau, Brazil. 22 of the 43 GSTP parties participated in the round and 8 parties (or 11 countries when mercosur members – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – are counted separately) exchanged tariff concessions by adopting the protocol. The signatories are MERCOSUR, the Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco and Cuba.