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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Very Tough Times for GSP Importers

We continue to receive responses to our survey on the impacts of GSP expiration after 1 year. To be blunt, they are not pretty. Here are a couple responses we heard this morning:

  • One small business in Illinois laid off a worker yesterday. They have also delayed two hires, so instead of 12 employees they are operating with just 9.
  • Another small business in New York laid off 10 workers and has also delayed two hires (and a variety of capital investments). So instead of 27 employees, the have just 15.
  • Last but certainly not least, there is Golden Valley, Minnesota-based Vispak, which imports engineered plastic packaging material used in the food industry. According to owner Terry Wright: “We are currently in the process of shutting down the business due to this GSP tax making us non-competitive. We have a dozen independent contractors working with this product who will have to find replacement work.

All three of these companies sell to American manufacturers, meaning the higher costs associated with GSP expiration are harming others as well. As one of them noted: “I have marked my price up so the ball rolls down hill so everything they make is marked up and so on.”

You can see how GSP expiration is impacting other companies here, here, here, here, or here. If you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer the survey by next Friday, August 29. As always, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed without explicit permission.

Posted in Illinois, Minnesota, New York | Leave a comment

GSP Expiration Survey: Status Update

To date, we’ve had about 80 responses to our new expiration survey. That’s decent…but we need a whole lot more (especially since our last survey report had ~220 responses). So if you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer the survey.

The deadline to respond is next Friday, August 29, but no need to wait until the last minute: early responses give us more time to pull together info for the report and follow up with companies as necessary. They also provide great content for blog posts.

Again, you can answer the survey by clicking this link.

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Companies in 278 Congressional Districts Now Calling on Congress to Renew GSP

Yesterday, we added three new companies to the GSP supporter list: Aapico Forging in Stamford, Connecticut, Mutual Wheel Company in Moline, Illinois, and Alum-Tech Corp. in West Melbourne, Florida.

Aapico Forging was the 8th company company headquartered in Connecticut’s 4th District, while Mutual Wheel company was the 2nd company in Illinois’ 17th District, but Alum-Tech was the first company from Florida’s 8th District.

That makes 607 companies and associations – headquartered in 278 congressional districts – urging Congress to renew GSP. Put differently, 64% of all Representatives have at least 1 constituent company calling for GSP renewal.

As we’ve shown previously, the companies actively calling for GSP renewal are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the companies that likely would benefit. If you’re not yet on the supporter list, you can add your name for free here.

Posted in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois | Leave a comment

GSP Expiration Impacts: Renewal Would Allow WA Company to Hire New Workers, Reward Existing Ones

TRInternational (TRI), based in Seattle, Washington, imports over 3 million pounds of eligible chemical products annually from Brazil, Thailand, and Turkey. These are raw materials that in turn are sold primarily to American manufacturers.

As we wrote previously, TRI has made the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Businesses in Washington State” list on three separate occasions in the 20 years it has been in business. Yet the additional $100,000 in higher taxes because of GSP expiration has forced TRI to defer 1-2 new hires and scale back investments in IT infrastructure to “maintenance” levels.

What would TRI do if GSP is renewed retroactively? According to its response to our new survey launched last week, the company would:

  • accelerate capital projects that were previously deferred;
  • implement discretionary employee bonuses, and
  • make at least 1 new hire in inside sales to promote the GSP-eligible products.

You can see how GSP expiration is impacting other companies here and here and here and here. If you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer the survey by Friday, August 29 (so that we can publish a full report when Congress returns to DC on September 8). As always, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed without explicit permission (which TRI gave).

Posted in Brazil, GSP, Thailand, Turkey, Washington | Leave a comment

GSP Expiration Impacts: CA Food Importer Delays Hires, Cancels Warehouse Investments

“We have delayed hiring 4 employees due to the expiration of the GSP. Also, our company was planning on investing in a warehouse expansion – about a $300,000 capital expenditure – that has now been cancelled.”

The above quote came from a California-based importer of specialty foods from Indonesia. On top of $50,000 in tariffs paid, a considerable sum for a company with just 12 employees, it estimates another $500,000 in lost sales because its products are not competitive when facing the higher import taxes.

Retroactive GSP renewal would allow the company to “hire new employees and pursue our warehouse expansion to further support the growth of our business.” Of course, new employees and investments have benefits that ripple throughout the local economy, so the positive impacts of GSP renewal would be felt beyond the importer.

This example comes from a response to our new survey launched last week on the impacts of GSP expiration after one year. We hope to collect many more examples (like this one and this one and this one) so that we can publish the results when Congress returns to DC on September 8.

If you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer these questions by Friday, August 29. As always, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed unless you explicitly grant permission.

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GSP Expiration Impacts: GA Distributor Missing Opportunities to Expand

Summit Specialty International in Alpharetta, Georgia imports pine interior doors from Brazil that are used for new residential construction. A small company with annual sales of approximately $3 million, the cost of GSP expiration is about 3 percent of annual revenue and has had a tangible impact on the company’s bottom line. According to owner Alex Livingston:

“The loss of $90,000 in tariffs has not allowed us to invest in either people or new equipment in a manner in which we would like to. We have opportunities to expand, now that the home building business is starting to grow again.”

Yet continued GSP expiration prevents Summit from taking advantages of those opportunities. Expiration also has forced Summit to buy certain door styles from China, since their prices have not been impacted by GSP expiration. Given that there are no price competitive US alternatives, Livingston would prefer “doing business with a country (Brazil) that is in our hemisphere and more amenable to US interests.”

Retroactive GSP renewal would allow Summit to invest in new equipment and hire new employees to take advantage of the improving home building environment. It could also return to buying from its preferred suppliers.

Summit’s story comes from a response to our new survey launched last week on the impacts of GSP expiration after one year. We hope to collect many more examples (like this one and this one) so that we can publish the results when Congress returns to DC on September 8.

If you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer these questions by Friday, August 29. As always, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed unless you explicitly grant permission (which Summit did).

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GSP Expiration Impacts: Small NC Manufacturer Delays Needed Investments

Xpres LLC  imports ceramic drink ware products (e.g., coffee mugs) from Thailand under GSP and then provides custom imprinting at its factory in Winston Salem, North Carolina. As a result of GSP expiration, this small manufacturer has paid more than $280,000 in higher taxes – or nearly $10,000 per employee!

The high import taxes, combined with lower sales from attempting to raise prices, have forced Xpres to postpone two key investments: a $100,000 oven purchase to increase output and a $40,000 investment in racking storage needs. Retroactive GSP renewal would allow Xpres to make these immediate capital investments in equipment necessary to grow the company.

Xpres’ story comes from a response to our new survey launched last week on the impacts of GSP expiration after one year. We hope to collect many more examples (here is another) so that we can publish the results when Congress returns to DC on September 8.

If you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer these questions by Friday, August 29. As always, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed unless you explicitly grant permission (which Xpres did).

Posted in North Carolina, Thailand | Leave a comment