In a letter sent today to House leaders, the Coalition for GSP and 29 other business associations urged the House to take up and pass the version of the trade preferences bill approved by the Senate in May. Since then, American companies have paid more than $30 million in new taxes because GSP remains expired.
The American Apparel and Footwear Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Emergency Committee for American Trade, International Wood Products Association, National Association of Chemical Distributors, National Association of Manufacturers, National Foreign Trade Council, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were among the organizations that signed the letter.
The core GSP provisions (i.e., retroactive renewal through December 2017) are identical in the Senate-passed bill and the House bill approved by the Ways and Means Committee in April. However, House passage of the Senate bill would ensure there are no procedural delays associated with resolving differences between the two bills. The Senate bill also includes provisions known as GSP UPDATE, which would open the door to GSP benefits for travel goods such as backpacks, luggage, and phone cases. By expanding the product coverage, GSP UPDATE could increase GSP benefits for American companies that currently – or would like to – import under the program.
With decisions like these hanging in the balance, it’s critical that companies continue contacting their Representatives about the need to renew GSP as quickly as possible. Contact info for all House offices is available here.