Universal Arquati Moulding is a leading U.S. supplier of quality picture frame moulding, some of which is imported from Indonesia under GSP. In addition to its California headquarters, the company has facilities in Somerset, New Jersey and Carrollton, Texas and sales reps throughout the rest of the country.
New tariffs from GSP expiration in 2013 put the company’s products at a disadvantage to Chinese mouldings, which typically account for 70+ percent of US imports. In total, Universal Arquati paid about $185,000 in extra taxes because of GSP expiration. The uncertainty regarding when, or even if, those taxes might be refunded led Universal Arquati to freeze all hiring and investments.
The retroactive renewal allowed Universal Arquati hire 12 new workers and buy equipment that will help increase sales even more. Most of the new positions are in California and Texas, where the company also rolled out a new delivery service. New delivery trucks were among the equipment purchases made after renewal.
Like many GSP program users, Universal Arquati is both importer and exporter. Univeral Arquati exports products that enter duty-free under GSP to both Canada and Mexico.