The U.S. Government released the trade data for January 2011 today, so this is the first time we’ve been able to see the actual costs of GSP expiration. The number isn’t pretty: $54.4 million in tariffs paid on about $1.5 billion worth of (previously) GSP-eligible products.
How does this affect American companies, or as we like to call them, employers? Here are excerpts from three different emails I’ve received from readers of this site in the last 24 hours:
- A company in Florida says: “We import chamois leather from Turkey and the duty now being charged significantly impacts our margins, which directly affects our ability to maintain our level of employee benefits and/or hire additional personnel.”
- A company in The Woodlands, Texas says: “We import cooking oils from Argentina. To be out of the GSP leaves our company totally out of the market due to an 18% duty.”
- Finally, a company in New Jersey says: “We have contracts with customers in the USA for material from India: the prices were based on GSP status being renewed. We are consequently paying duties in excess of 15k per month.”
Congress must renew GSP immediately. At a minimum, it should acknowledge the severe negative impact its expiration has on American companies every single day that they delay passing this important program.