More than 50 companies have responded to our GSP expiration poll. We’re particularly grateful for the responses that provide the context in which companies are dealing with GSP expiration and the new tariff costs. If you don’t think Congress needs to pass an immediate, retroactive, and long-term renewal of GSP, try reading the following response from a small business in New Jersey that allowed us to publish its comments:
For very small companies like ours, the loss of GSP and ATPA simultaneously has wrought havoc on our finances. We have paid over $61,000 in duty since Jan. 1, 2011 for frozen food imports. These costs cannot be passed along to our customers, who are large food manufacturing companies with long term contracts.
With the problems of availability of credit for small businesses having taken its toll, the increase in the cost of health care premiums for employees, and now the loss of GSP/ATPA, for the first time ever we have had to lay off an employee and cut back on benefits.
A retroactive renewal for 2011 with an idea for what is in store for the future will at least put more small businesses on firmer footing heading into 2012. At least if we have an idea of whether or not we can compete going forward into 2012, we can make educated decisions as to whether or not we can afford to run our business.