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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Pop the Champagne – GSP Program Goes Back Into Effect!

After nearly two long years of expiration, GSP went back into effect this morning. American companies no longer must pay the import taxes on GSP-eligible products. A cause for celebration indeed!

This should benefit the estimated 1,000+ shipments that claim GSP daily. And when you have a shipment come in that doesn’t face tariffs because of GSP renewal, we’d love if you could email us a quick sentence or two like this:

We had a shipment of chemicals come in from Thailand today. GSP being reinstated saved us $4,500.

No amount is too small and of course, feel free to provide more details if you’d like. (Please also let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous.)

As GSP reinstatement moves forward and you begin to receive refunds for tariffs paid during the expiration, we’d also love to hear from you if your company is taking positive steps (e.g., hiring workers, making job-creating investments, etc.) as a result of GSP renewal. We detailed one such example here.

The next potential GSP expiration will roll around before you know it. The more positive GSP impacts we can show between now and then, the better positioned we’ll be to advocate for renewal.

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The GSP Renewal Post We’ve Been Waiting to Write

This week we received an email from someone at Primetac, a GSP supporter list company in Little Ferry, New Jersey. We’ve been waiting for an email like this for a long time – much too long – so it’s with great pleasure that we get to publish this (and special thanks to the company for allowing us to do so)!

Here is what they wrote (everything in italics is directly quoted):

We are a poster child for the benefits of the GSP program.  Located in New Jersey, just outside of NY City, our company is small but the jobs we have created with the help of the GSP program over the years are well-paying jobs with good benefits such as full health insurance coverage (we pay 100% of the employee’s premium) and 401(k) with matching funds.

We have about 12 employees and we pay commissions to another 12 salespeople (outside contractors) many of whom rely on our company as a primary source of income.  The benefits also extend to the very poor area in Indonesia (Surabaya) where the factory is located, as much needed jobs are provided by the factory which makes our products.

That’s good info, but it gets better. GSP is not even back into effect yet – that won’t happen until July 29 – but Primetac is moving full speed ahead. Here is what the email said in regards to recent/next steps:

1.      We are hiring a VP for sales and marketing to help us to expand our business nationwide.  We have warehouses in 4 states in different parts of the country, so any growth in our sales volume also accrues to those businesses via ripple effect.  Part of the new VP job will be to locate and hire at least 2 additional sales reps in open territories – so 2-3 new positions are being created

2.      We have just contracted for the purchase of a new Forklift from Crown Lift Trucks, an Ohio-based manufacturer of forklift trucks (this truck is manufactured entirely in the US).  Appx cost $26,000.

3.      We are investigating upgrades to the lighting system in our warehouse now that we will have the funds available for such improvements

To recap, GSP renewal is allowing the company to 1) hire new US workers internally, 2) support manufacturing jobs in Ohio through an immediate equipment purchase, and 3) potentially support more manufacturing/New Jersey installation jobs through warehouse upgrades.

My absolute favorite part is the last sentence (emphasis added), which reflects the optimism felt by many, many companies who have been waiting for Congress to renew GSP:

These are new projects just in the 2 weeks since the announcement of renewal…more to follow.

If your company is taking similar steps (e.g., hiring workers, making job-creating investments, etc.) as a result of GSP renewal, we want to hear from you. The next potential GSP expiration will roll around before you know it, and the more we can show the positive GSP impacts between now and then, the better positioned we’ll be to advocate for a seamless renewal.

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With Program Renewed, Here Are the Products that May Lose Benefits on October 1 in the GSP Annual Review

With the President signing the GSP renewal legislation into law in late June, all parts of the GSP program will restart – including the Annual Review process.

The legislation included a provision extending the deadline for the 2014 Annual Review to October 1. While normally the process would take about a year, the three-month timetable means that USTR will conduct a limited review dealing only with items related to the competitive need limit (CNL) thresholds.

Earlier this week, USTR released the details and schedule. Most notably, five products are at risk of losing GSP benefits on October 1:

  • HTS 2008.19.15 from Thailand — Coconuts otherwise prepared or preserved;
  • HTS 7408.29.10 from Thailand — Copper alloys (other than brass, cupro-nickel or nickel-silver), wire, coated or plated with metal;
  • HTS 4412.31.40 from Indonesia — Certain plywood sheets not over 6 mm thick;
  • HTS 7413.00.10 from Turkey — Certain copper, stranded wire;
  • HTS 7413.00.50 from Turkey — Certain copper cables and plaited bands.

If you import any of the products above, we would love to know about it. Given the expedited review schedule, deadlines are very tight and all submissions related to retaining GSP benefits are due by July 31.

Some products are also eligible for reinstatement of GSP benefits (“List III” of this document, starting on page 9). If you import products on the list then you might wish to submit comments in support of reinstatement. Again, if you import any of those products and are interested in trying to get GSP benefits back, please let us know.

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President Obama Signs Bill to Renew GSP

President Obama at the signing ceremony for the Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Preferences Extension legislation.

Earlier today, President Obama signed into law H.R. 1295, which renews GSP and refunds tariffs paid on eligible imports. GSP should enter into effect again on July 29 – almost 2 years to the day since it expired.

This has been a long and challenging period for American companies that rely on the GSP program. We know because we asked and you told us. Repeatedly. And you told your representatives as well, which helped lead to big bipartisan votes in both the Senate and House.

As we move forward, it will be critical to continue these education efforts. In contrast to the last 2 years, companies can talk about all the positive effects stemming from GSP reauthorization – from increasing sales to new investments to hiring (or rehiring) and rewarding workers. These anecdotes will be needed in the next fight to renew GSP. December 2017 will be here sooner than anyone imagines.

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Congress Passes Final Legislation to Renew GSP!!!

The House just passed the GSP renewal legislation by a vote of 286-138! It will now go to the President for enactment following yesterday’s Senate vote.

The Coalition for GSP released the following statement after House passage:

“Final congressional passage of H.R. 1295 makes today a great day for American companies and workers that depend on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program,” said Daniel Anthony, Executive Director of the Coalition for GSP. “After two years of uncertainty and about $1.3 billion in taxes paid, companies once again can focus on growing their businesses knowing that duty-free treatment will resume shortly and taxes paid on GSP-eligible products will be refunded.”

Thank you again to everyone that has contacted offices, answered surveys, signed on to letters, etc. over the past 2 years. This was a group effort.

 

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Final House Vote on GSP Renewal Legislation Expected Shortly

The House floor debate is taking place now and can be viewed on C-SPAN here.

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Senate Passes GSP Legislation (Again); Now on to the House (Again)

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.12.45 PM

A few minutes ago, the Senate invoked cloture on the trade preferences bill by a vote of 76-22. (The image shows 77-23, but two Senators must’ve switched to “not voting” at the last minute).

Before voting, Senate leaders reached an agreement that if cloture was invoked, “all post cloture timed be considered expired.” Without further debate, the Senate proceeded immediately to a voice vote on final passage, which passed without objection.

The bill now goes back to the House, when it hopefully can be passed House tomorrow (before the House recesses for 12 days). If you haven’t done so already, be sure to reach out to:

  1. call and/or tweet your Representatives (contact info available here)
  2. 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)
  3. mention or share the letter: http://bit.ly/HR1295_Letter
  4. ask whether the Representative plans to support HR 1295
  5. send any feedback to the Coalition for GSP

So close…

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