As you probably know, GSP renewal legislation has passed the Senate and then the House. However, since the House bill differed from the Senate-passed one, the Senate must vote again. Further complicating matters is a new plan for the Senate to make additional changes that will require yet another House vote – and a lot of trust between Republicans and Democrats.
If everything goes smoothly, the week ahead should look something like this:
- Tuesday, June 23: The Senate votes to end debate on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation (H.R. 2146). A 3/5 majority is needed for passage.
- Wednesday, June 24: The Senate approves TPA. Only a simple majority needed on this vote. Following passage, the Senate immediately votes to end debate on the new preferences/TAA bill (H.R. 1295). Again, a 3/5 majority is needed to end debate.
- Thursday, June 25: The Senate approves preferences/TAA. Only a simple majority needed for this vote.
- Friday, June 26: The House passes the Senate-approved preferences/TAA bill. The rule for this vote would be determined after the Senate acts. Following House passage, the bill would be sent to the President for signature.
Yet a significant number of Republicans oppose the TAA provisions that are now attached to the bill to renew GSP. Furthermore, much of the attention on H.R. 1295 now focuses on those controversial provisions as opposed to GSP, which has broad support. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have vowed to ensure the new preferences/TAA bill passes, but who will actually vote for it remains a question.
So it’s crucial that all GSP importers:
- call, tweet, and email their Senators (contact info available here)
- urge support for HR 1295, Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which would renew GSP and refund nearly $1.25 billion in taxes paid by American companies like yours (state breakdown available here)
- ask whether the Senator plans to support HR 1295
- send any feedback to the Coalition for GSP