Welcome to Renew GSP Today

Thanks for visiting our website about the GSP trade program. Congress passed a retroactive GSP renewal on June 26, 2015 that extends the program through December 31, 2017 and refunds approximately $1.3 billion in taxes paid during the previous expiration.

Yet 2017 will be here soon, so we must continue to build support for the GSP program. If your company uses GSP, please get engaged by:

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GSP Renewal Allows Small Business to Hire 2 New Workers

Fab-Line Machinery, which has facilities in St. Charles, Illinois and Nashville, Tennessee, imports metal fabrication machinery from Turkey under GSP. The products, including hydraulic press breaks, hydraulic shears, and plasma cutting systems, are used by American manufacturers for domestic production.

Based on its response to our new GSP renewal survey, Fab-Line paid about $350,000 in additional taxes while GSP was expired. As President Patrick Canning reported a year ago, the new taxes forced the company to lay off one employee put two new hires on hold. The planned sales and service expansion remained on hold due to lack of funds. Until now.

GSP renewal was the catalyst Fab-Line needed: it has already hired a new service manager and a new regional manager. And it has not even received all of its refunds yet. GSP renewal also means improved margins on all of Fab-Line’s sales that could be used to fund future growth.

These are the types of stories that importers must share to start building the case for GSP renewal in 2017. If you haven’t done so already, please answer our new GSP renewal survey here.

You can view our other post-renewal profiles:

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NEW SURVEY: GSP Renewal Impacts

After a nearly 2-year expiration, Congress retroactively renewed GSP in June. During the expiration, some of the most powerful arguments for GSP renewal came from two surveys highlighting company-specific impacts (reports here and here).

To start building the case now for GSP extension beyond 2017, we must show the positive impacts of GSP renewal and the tariff refunds. Some companies (The Cannon GroupKona Bicycles, Primetac, Thompson Traders) have provided stories already, but we need more. To that end, we have launched the new survey below.

Like previous surveys, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed unless you explicitly grant permission. If you have any questions, please contact Dan Anthony at the Coalition for GSP here.

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$1.31 Billion in Automatic GSP Refunds – Broken Down by State

Based on newly available July 2015 trade data, American companies paid about $1.3 billion in higher import taxes while GSP was expired between August 2013 to July 2015. With the retroactive GSP renewal, nearly all of that will be refunded automatically. The map below shows the breakdown of GSP tariffs paid during expiration that are eligible for refunds (i.e., excluding those paid on imports from Bangladesh and Russia).

Map of Expected GSP Refunds by State

Every state will benefit: more than $1 million in refunds are expected for companies in 43 states plus Puerto Rico. Not surprisingly, companies in large states like California ($122 million) and Texas ($100 million) will receive the most.

And these figures represent only the automatic refunds. Companies have until December 28 to request refunds for products that did not claim GSP when originally imported.

The refunds are already helping American companies and workers. The Cannon Group in Ohio says at least 3 net jobs are tied to GSP renewal and refunds. Thompson Traders in North Carolina is adding a new product line. Kona Bicycles in Washington hired two workers in July and planned to hire another in August. And Primetac Corporation in New Jersey started making hires and equipment purchases before the renewal even took effect.

If your company is benefiting from GSP renewal, we want to hear from you!

Whether you are hiring new workers, raising compensation for existing employees, making capital investments, or simply paying down debts that accrued during expiration – no detail is too small. It’s time to start making the case for GSP renewal in 2017.

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Ohio Small Biz: At Least 3 Net Jobs Tied to GSP Refunds


GSP refund checks received to date by Ohio small business

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The pictures above (or at least the checks in them) are worth SO much more.

The checks are the first GSP refunds for The Cannon Group, a small business in Westerville, Ohio that imports plastic bags for newspapers from Sri Lanka. For nearly 2 years while GSP was expired, the company had to pay higher taxes on every shipment.

Now that money is coming back – one check for each shipment – and is being put to good use.

The Cannon Group plans to add one full-time employee in September and is looking to add at least one new salesperson in the next 6 months. The refunds also saved the job of another employee that would’ve gone away due to the loss of other business. For this Ohio small business, at least 3 net jobs are tied to GSP renewal and refunds.

These moves shouldn’t come as a surprise. President Frank Cannon said nearly a year ago:

“With a loss of $700,000 to our bottom line we cannot afford to hire any new staff. If Congress renews GSP retroactively, we would definitely hire more staff.”

Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) cited the company, based in the district, when introducing the legislation back in April. At the time, Mr. Tiberi said GSP renewal would help companies like The Cannon Group grow their businesses and “ultimately create jobs.”

And he was right. In addition to The Cannon Group, companies like Thompson Traders, Kona Bicycle, and Primetac all are benefiting immediately from GSP renewal.

What steps are you taking now that GSP has been renewed? We want to hear from you! 

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GSP Renewal Immediately Benefiting Companies in the Carolinas

GSP has only been back in effect for a week, but we’re already hearing positive things from companies about the impacts.

Take Thompson Traders in Greensboro, North Carolina, which manufactures and sells hand-hammered copper sinks for kitchens and baths. GSP expiration hit at a terrible time: just as the small but growing company reached a positive cash flow.

This past January, Thompson Traders reported reducing payroll by 8 people because of GSP expiration. Those people accounted for 40 percent of Thompson Traders’ staff. Expansion plans were put on hold. Remaining employees in the profit-sharing plan were affected by lost bonuses and raises. Yet GSP renewal and refunds coming for the extra taxes is changing that.

According to Thompson Traders President Fred Starr, the company is initiating a major new product line in a new market. This is just one part of the company’s plan to reinvest all taxes returned through GSP reinstatement in new business opportunities – all of which means new jobs and higher pay possibilities for its workers.

About a 100 miles west down Route 40 in Hickory, North Carolina, Scott Ferguson of CCS USA is also optimistic. His company  provides precision tooling and die parts to the aerospace industry. According to Scott:

“The reinstatement of the GSP program will save my company $2000 – $3000 or more per week. This will allow us to be much more competitive and build the business to the point that additional employees will be required.”

Down Route 85 from Greensboro, Strategic Sales Partners in Fort Mill, South Carolina saved $7,500 on the first day that GSP went into back into effect. The company works with manufacturers, both in the United States and overseas, to provide sustainable building products such as doors, decking, and fencing.

If your company is benefiting from GSP renewal, we want to hear from you! We love receiving detailed info like that from Thompson Traders (and Primetac and Kona Bicycle previously) and quick notes like those from CCS USA and Strategic Sales Partners alike.

It’s never too early to start building the case for GSP renewal in 2017.

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GSP Renewal Leads to Immediate Hires at Kona Bicycle in Washington

What a difference GSP renewal can make for companies like Kona Bicycle in Ferndale, Washington.

Nearly 30 years old, the independent company still has the same founding owners and a staff of active and impassioned cyclists. Kona describes itself as “a dedicated group of cyclists making bicycles for people who love bikes” – and GSP renewal is allowing that dedicated staff to grow.

Kona has hired two new people since GSP was renewed on June 29: a senior engineer and an industrial designer. Both already started working at the office in Ferndale, despite the fact that GSP didn’t go back into effect until yesterday.

Kona isn’t done with post-GSP renewal hires: it plans to hire a product manager in August. The company also hopes to add a junior engineer during the winter.

The timing is not a coincidence: Kona’s new jobs in Washington were simply waiting for Congress to renew GSP. As Kona’s Chairman Jacob Heilbron said last fall:

“We’re unable to raise prices during our model year so the loss of profit is absorbed into our bottom line. We would like to hire new U.S. based personnel for our R&D/Product Development team but are waiting until GSP is renewed.”

Fortunately, Kona didn’t wait long to act. Like Primetac in Little Ferry, New Jersey, it didn’t even wait for GSP to go back into effect! 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.

After two years of talking about terrible effects of GSP expiration, GSP users must show the benefits of GSP reinstatement. We cannot afford to wait until 2017 when another expiration is looming…

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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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