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 Saved American Companies $57 Million in November

GSP renewal appears to be having a very positive impact on American companies – and their sourcing from GSP countries.

Based on data released last week, American importers saved $57 million in November 2015 as a result of the program’s reinstatement in late July 2015. In total, GSP saved American companies $230 million between August and November 2015.

With the program back in place, GSP usage appears to be climbing. GSP savings in each of the last 4 months exceeded the average monthly tariffs paid during the 2-year expiration. That is true despite the fact that several major GSP imports (e.g., plywood from Indonesia) have lost GSP benefits since the program was reinstated.

Increased GSP usage plays out at the state level as well:

  • GSP savings in November 2015 exceeded the tariffs paid during any of the 24 months of GSP expiration for 7 states: Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
  • GSP savings in August, September, or October exceeded tariffs paid during any expiration month for 8 others states: Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Utah, and Washington
  • In Mississippi, GSP savings in 3 of the 4 months since reinstatement exceeded the tariffs paid during any expiration month: August, October, November
  • GSP savings in two different months since reinstatement exceeded the tariffs paid during any expiration month for 7 other states: Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Of course, those savings are on top of the $1.3+ billion in refunds due to companies for tariffs paid during expiration. Customs announced that 98 percent of the automatic refunds had been processed by late September. The total refund value will grow as companies had until December 28 to request refunds for products that did not claim GSP during the expiration.

All of which has had a positive impact on companies, as detailed here, here, here, here, or here. If you have a good story about how GSP renewal is benefiting your business, we want to hear it. You can either email directly so or answer the questions here.

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USTR Publishes “Warning List” for Products that could Lose GSP Benefits in 2015 Annual Review

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has published the list of products at risk of losing GSP benefits for exceeding “competitive need limits” in 2015. The list is based on import data from January to September and includes any product whose imports during that period:

  • exceeded $110 million, or
  • accounted for more than 42% of total U.S. imports (only if total U.S. imports exceeded $14 million).

Please note, the list is a courtesy and products not listed can still lose GSP benefits if 2015 full-year data shows that imports:

  • exceeded $170 million, or
  • accounted for more than 50% of total U.S. imports (only if total U.S. imports exceeded $22.5 million).

While the full-year data will not be available until February 2016, petitions are due on December 4, 2015. This is actually an extension from the original deadline of November 23.

Information about filing petitions is available here. If you have questions, you can also e-mail us or call us 202-347-1085.

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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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