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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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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661 Companies and Associations Send Letter Urging Congress to Renew GSP, Other Preferences

This morning, the Coalition for GSP joined with 660 organizations to send a letter urging all members of Congress to support passage of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 included in H.R. 1295.

The 661 organizations included 28 associations and 633 companies. The companies are headquartered in 46 states, 290 congressional districts, and the District of Columbia.  More than 80 percent of companies signing the letter are small businesses with 100 or fewer employees (90 percent are SMEs with 500 or less employees).

Beyond renewing and updating GSP, the legislation would also extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which expires on September 30, and special preferences for Haiti, among other things. As the letter notes, “these three programs form the bedrock of U.S. trade policy toward developing countries” and “each enjoy broad bipartisan support.”

The Senate will take at least one – and possibly two – preferences votes today. The first requires 60 “yes” votes to pass, while the second requires 50 “yes” votes to pass.

If both of those pass today, the House could pass final GSP renewal legislation tomorrow.

So we’ll reiterate the call to action from yesterday (though now with the House as well…):

  1. call, tweet, and email your Senators (contact info available here) and 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 Senator/Representative plans to support HR 1295
  5. send any feedback to the Coalition for GSP

Thanks again for helping push this over the finish line!

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Senate Cloture Vote on GSP Expected Tomorrow (June 24); Contacts Needed TODAY

Busy week on trade as we noted yesterday. The Senate invoked cloture on the TPA bill just a moment ago, which sets up a final vote on TPA later tonight or tomorrow – and then a cloture vote on the GSP/preferences bill tomorrow. Given the short time frame, it’s crucial that GSP importers contact their Senators about the need to pass HR 1295, the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015.

After the 97-1 Senate passage last month, you may think contacts aren’t necessary. However, new provisions (TAA) have been added that may Republicans strongly oppose. With 60 “yes” votes needed to invoke cloture, a significant number of Republicans will be needed to support the bill despite opposition to TAA.

So here are the instructions we provided yesterday:

  1. call, tweet, and email their Senators (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. ask whether the Senator plans to support HR 1295
  4. send any feedback to the Coalition for GSP

You can also note that a vote against HR 1295 is a vote to continue unnecessary taxes on American businesses (and mostly small businesses at that).

Thanks in advance for helping us get this over the finish line!

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Is This the Week Congress Renews GSP? Here’s How to Help.

As you probably know, GSP renewal legislation has passed the Senate and then the House. However, since the House bill differed from the Senate-passed one, the Senate must vote again. Further complicating matters is a new plan for the Senate to make additional changes that will require yet another House vote – and a lot of trust between Republicans and Democrats.

If everything goes smoothly, the week ahead should look something like this:

  • Tuesday, June 23: The Senate votes to end debate on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation (H.R. 2146). A 3/5 majority is needed for passage.
  • Wednesday, June 24: The Senate approves TPA. Only a simple majority needed on this vote. Following passage, the Senate immediately votes to end debate on the new preferences/TAA bill (H.R. 1295). Again, a 3/5 majority is needed to end debate.
  • Thursday, June 25: The Senate approves preferences/TAA. Only a simple majority needed for this vote.
  • Friday, June 26: The House passes the Senate-approved preferences/TAA bill. The rule for this vote would be determined after the Senate acts. Following House passage, the bill would be sent to the President for signature.

Yet a significant number of Republicans oppose the TAA provisions that are now attached to the bill to renew GSP. Furthermore, much of the attention on H.R. 1295 now focuses on those controversial provisions as opposed to GSP, which has broad support. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have vowed to ensure the new preferences/TAA bill passes, but who will actually vote for it remains a question.

So it’s crucial that all GSP importers:

  1. call, tweet, and email their Senators (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. ask whether the Senator plans to support HR 1295
  4. send any feedback to the Coalition for GSP
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