Every now and again, people reach out to us with a story that epitomizes the experiences of companies around the country impacted by GSP expiration. We received one such email over the weekend from a company in Illinois, which we’ve posted in its entirety after the jump [all emphasis is ours].
This is the type of information that members of Congress need to hear. We’re happy to help tell these stories by posting them on the site. All you need to do is send an email here with as many details as possible (GSP countries, products, tariff rates, etc.). We prefer to publish company names/locations, but will keep the information anonymous upon request.
We import products from several countries covered by the GSP. Ours is a modest sized, thin margin, manufacturing business. We have paid tens of thousands of dollars so far this year because of the expiration of the GSP.
We were caught flat footed by this. We learned of the expiration when we started receiving bills from our customs broker for US customs duties. We had ordered and paid for raw materials in the last few months of 2010, which suddenly cost more than we expected because the materials arrived on or after January 1, 2011, and were subject to this suddenly and unexpectedly imposed tax.
We realize that it is possible that the GSP may be reauthorized retroactively to January 1, 2011. However, we cannot count on this happening. We are being forced to attempt to raise our prices to cover this tax increase, which in our case is a very significant cost increase.
We have little choice but to continue buying imported raw materials no matter what the price, because in some cases no one in the US makes what we need. In other cases the number of US suppliers is so small ( one, two, three or four ) that it is difficult to buy from some or all of them. It is common for these suppliers to say they are sold out, or to have other reasons for refusing to sell.