Fair Trade Importer WorldFinds: “These Tariffs Are Paralyzing Us”

One of our latest GSP expiration survey responses shows how the new tariffs harm not just American companies and consumers, but also the small producers in developing countries that GSP was originally designed to help.

The submission came from Kelly Weinberger of WorldFinds in Westmont, IL. The company employs 8 people domestically and works with artisans around the world like Rami in Indonesia and Sushma in India. (Check out some of their jewelry we found here.) According to Kelly, the company paid $6,000 in extra taxes on handicraft imports in August alone and expects to pay another $6,000 in September if GSP benefits are not reinstated. In her words:

“These tariffs are paralyzing us as a small fair trade business with limited resources and an already tight clash flow. Suddenly a huge amount of money needs to be reallocated to pay tariffs instead of being able to order more product from our low-income artisan groups.”

Let’s consider the full ramifications of reallocating money from new purchases to paying tariffs. Reduced work for poor women like Rami means less money for things like their children’s schooling. Reduced inventories for companies like WorldFinds means lower sales and profits. Reduced sales and profits means fewer resources for future product purchases. Repeat.

So while GSP benefits help economic development both at home and abroad, GSP expiration can quickly reverse those gains.

If your taxes have gone up because of GSP expiration, please tell your story (there’s an option to remain anonymous) by filling out our survey here.

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