Welcome to Renew GSP Today

Thanks for stopping by to check out our website about the GSP trade program.  Despite a “long-term” renewal in 2011, the GSP program expired on July 31, 2013. As a result, American companies now face an estimated $2 million per day in new taxes.

If you’re one of those companies paying higher taxes, be sure to get engaged in GSP renewal by:

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Companies Speak Out: Why Congress Needs to Renew GSP

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been copied on hundreds of emails to congressional staff about the importance of renewing GSP before the August recess. Each company has a different story to tell, but here are a few direct quotes (with company-identifying information  removed) provided over the last few days.

If you haven’t let your Members of Congress know why GSP is renewal is important, let these serve as an inspiration to use our Senate and House contact pages to share your story!

Key inputs are not available in the United States: “We are one of the last remaining US manufacturers in our industry. We have utilized all of the technological innovations available to us to remain competitive in our field. We employ 125 people in our factory. One of the inputs we use from overseas is no longer available domestically, and we count on GSP to help maintain our viability as a manufacturer. We have paid a total of $34,147.75 in duties since GSP expired.”

New workers cannot be hired: “Over the last year I have paid over $110,000.00 in extra duties for products that we cannot afford to raise prices on. Our busy season is around the corner and instead of looking to hire more people, I’m looking for ways to cut expenses.”

Products are losing out to imports from China: “Losing out to the Chinese My company alone has paid over $100,000 in these taxes in the past year. We are a $20mm company, so $100,000 off the bottom line is a substantial hit for us. My main supplier from India was here to visit last month, and a large part of our conversation revolved around the extra cost of the taxes making us less competitive against Chinese imports.”

Impacts of lost sales reach far beyond the importer: “Since the GSP expiration on July 31st, 2013 – we have paid an additional $131,440.35 in taxes. This has been a loss of approximately 16% in gross profit for our company. For a small business, these changes can have a substantial impact. The GSP program allowed us to keep our prices low and competitive in our market. Since the expiration of GSP, we have had to raise our prices to cover the additional costs and therefore have lost customers and market share. Our business also supports many other businesses such as the custom’s brokers, storage warehouses, and truckers that we utilize for every sale we make. In addition to our on-site employees, we also utilize a network of independent sales representatives in six states. State-run ports in Virginia, Georgia, and Texas are also fundamental to our operation.”

These are the types of detail that can make GSP expiration “real” (or at least relatable) for congressional staff that likely do not have direct importing experience. So if you haven’t already, please take a moment to tell your Senators and Representatives how GSP expiration impacts you!

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It’s Tuesday…Have YOU Told Congress to Renew GSP?

It’s Tuesday. That means we need as many companies as possible to contact their Senators and Representatives about the importance of renewing GSP before the August recess!

If this is your first go-round for Tariff Tuesdays, check out the instructions here and then fire off some emails.

If you have participated, please follow up with your previous contacts for an update. That could be:

  • an update on your end (e.g., this post shows a number of companies that could say “we’ve paid $XX,XXX in new taxes in the last week”) or
  • asking for an update from them (e.g., have you spoken to your boss/committee staff/leadership about what’s happening with GSP renewal?).

If you hear back from staff, please let us know!

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One Day of GSP Expiration – Who Paid the Price on July 17?

We frequently note that each day of GSP expiration costs American importers nearly $2 million in additional taxes. We also highlight the diverse GSP importers that are on the supporter list. But we don’t know how many other GSP importers might be paying those taxes on any given day.

So we decided to conduct an experiment: we downloaded all of the Panjiva import records from GSP beneficiary countries for the most recent day available (Thursday, July 17) and examined each shipment to see if the company (likely) paid unnecessary taxes because Congress has failed to renew the program.

We found nearly 100 companies that likely paid taxes on that one day (full list after the jump) based in 24 states. The vast majority of them are not on the GSP supporter list – including some pretty BIG companies – meaning the constituent impacts are much greater than we have been able to highlight. At least they’re not on the list yet…we hope anyone that sees their company below will add it here.

Even this list significantly understates the actual number of companies that likely paid higher taxes last Thursday. That’s because we were conservative in identifying “likely GSP shipments.” For example, we skipped over all records that named a shipping company as the importer of record as well as records with vague product descriptions such as “granite” or “foodstuffs.” These are both major GSP imports, but GSP-eligibility depends on the type of granite and foodstuffs. Finally, there were about 4 times as many shipment records for July 16 as for July 17…would we have found 4 times as many companies had we chosen one day earlier? (We’d still be reviewing them, but may undertake that effort at a later date!)

So while far from perfect, here is the partial list of companies that likely got stuck paying higher taxes on July 17: Continue reading

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GSP Tariff Tuesdays: Keep the Contacts Coming!

It’s Tuesday, have you contacted your Senators and Representatives about the need to renew GSP yet? If not, you should take a few minutes to do so now.

This is our third GSP “Tariff Tuesday” and we need as many companies as possible to contact their Senators and Representatives today about the need to renew GSP before the August recess (just a few weeks away). Is it working? The chart below shows the explosive growth in the number of clicks on our Senate and House contact pages since right before we started tariff Tuesdays.

GSP_Tariff_Tuesdays_Weekly_ContactsNow website clicks aren’t the goal, meaningful contacts are. And we heard from a staffer yesterday that a key Senator was very surprised by two things: 1) that his state had paid millions in higher taxes from GSP expiration, and 2) that he wasn’t hearing more from those companies. This Senator likely is not alone, so we need to increase the contacts further.

If you haven’t participate in Tariff Tuesdays before, check out the instructions here and then fire off some emails.

If you have participated, please take a few moments to follow up with your previous contacts. You don’t want to send an identical email, but you can:

  • provide any relevant new details (e.g., we just got a shipment in last week and had to pay another $XX,XXX);
  • provide previously undisclosed information about the impacts on your business (e.g., as noted, we’ve paid $XX,XXX in tariffs because of GSP expiration, and that caused us to lay off workers/delay hires/postpone investments/lose $XX,XXX in sales), or
  • ask if the staff person spoken to their boss/committee staff/leadership about the impacts of GSP expiration on constituents and what kind of response they received.

GSP renewal faces an uphill battle. Yet one thing is certain: if GSP users don’t make it a priority to tell their representatives to renew GSP, Congress won’t make GSP renewal a priority either.

If you do hear back from staff,  please let us know. Happy emailing!

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7 New Companies Calling on Congress to Renew GSP

Over the last few days, we’ve added 7 new companies to the GSP Supporter List. That means there are now 583 companies and associations publicly asking Congress to pass GSP renewal legislation.

Three of the seven come from congressional districts that did not have GSP supporter list companies previously: California’s 22nd District, New York’s 1st District, and Pennsylvania’s 15th District. In total, GSP supporter companies are headquartered in 272 congressional districts (and operate in many, many more).

The companies import from diverse products, including food products, wood, sporting goods, plastic films, and handicrafts. They source these products from India, Indonesia, Philippines, Tunisia, and Turkey.

The companies range in size from 4 to 75 employees – so they are all small businesses – yet their combined savings from GSP in 2012 exceeded $1 million. And they’ve paid considerably more than that in higher taxes since GSP expired last year! This is similar to previous GSP supporters, about 80 percent of which are small businesses with big tax bills because of expiration.

If you’re like these companies but not yet on the list, be sure to add your name here.

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GSP Expiration Cost $57 Million in May 2014

According to new data released this week, GSP expiration cost another $57 million in May 2014. With a daily cost of $1.84 million, American companies have paid $631 million because Congress has yet to renew GSP. The map below shows the breakdown of GSP imports and tariffs paid as a result of expiration by state through May.

GSP_Expiration_Costs_by_State_Aug2013-May2014

There could be more bad news ahead: Congress will only have a few weeks in session from August 1 to mid-November. So if GSP is not renewed in the next few weeks, a best-case scenario likely involves companies paying at least $225 million in additional taxes. Who are these companies? You can see many of them here (and if you’re a GSP importer that’s not on the list, you should add your company here).

The congressional schedule for July is tight, which means companies need to tell their Senators and Reps to make GSP renewal a priority before the August recess. You can use the links above to do so. You can also join our “tariff Tuesdays” initiative, where we’re encouraging companies to reach out every Tuesday about the need to renew GSP.

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Tariff Tuesday, Part 2

It’s Tuesday, have you contacted your Senators and Representatives about the need to renew GSP yet?

If not, now is a good time to use those links to do so. Remember to add as many details about your GSP use (what you import, how much you’ve paid because of expiration, etc.) as possible.

We were copied on about 75 emails to staff last Tuesday – the first tariff Tuesday – and we’d like to receive even more this week!

So please take a few minutes to make sure your reps know how important GSP renewal is to your company.

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