Given the name/purpose of this site, we focus primarily on the direct impacts of GSP renewal. What we probably don’t focus on enough is how GSP duties pile on to a host of other challenges American companies currently face. Yesterday, we noted that Besa Lighting in Blacklick, Ohio (near Columbus) added its name to the GSP Supporter List. (If you’re in the market for new light fixtures, check out their website, which has some great products.)
Today, we’re happy to provide more detail about Besa Lighting’s story. You’ll see that GSP expiration, in conjunction with issues like higher gas and transportation costs, are forcing layoffs at a time when everyone knows that creating new jobs needs to be the number one priority. Without further ado, here is the unedited email (contact info removed):
We are a light fixture manufacturer and we import the majority of our glass from Turkey. It was previously duty free. With the slow-down of new home builds this has come at an extra hard time for us. We have also been hit hard by the dollar falling relative to the Euro, and the higher prices of shipping our glass because of rising fuel costs.
The lack of GSP renewal is causing us to pay an extra 12% for our glass which is usually the most expensive part of our product. We will have to raise our prices in the near future and hope that it doesn’t cause us to lose business, as we have already laid off 5 employees this year, out of a company of only 40 people. While we would love to purchase our glass domestically, the European style of glass blowing is integral to our product, and we have yet to find anyone here that can produce the glass we need in the styles we need.
Please go ahead and add us to the list of GSP supporters. Hopefully if enough businesses join in perhaps the government can be prodded into action. While I have sent letters to my representatives as an individual, I know they are probably just a drop in the bucket compared to other issues they are currently dealing with. Sadly, most average people probably won’t bother with contacting their representatives unless they are in the importing / purchasing business and are seeing the money it is costing. I know if I wasn’t in the position I am in Besa Lighting I wouldn’t even be aware of it and the impact it has on prices. With the fuel costs going up these days, I presume most people are just chalking up all of the rising prices to transportation costs.