New trade data for January came out yesterday and the numbers aren’t pretty: American companies paid $77 million in extra taxes because Congress failed to renew GSP last year.
By comparison, the most tariffs paid in a single month during the last 2-year expiration was “just” $61 million. So the stakes for a swift, retroactive renewal are much, much higher for American companies this time around.
GSP imports were up by 18 percent compared to January 2017. Had companies not been forced to pay them, tariff savings would have increased by 21 percent. Montana and South Carolina were among the states with big increases in GSP imports getting slapped with new tariffs, as shown in the graphic below.
GSP expiration cost Montana companies $46,000 in January. Potential savings were up $38,000 (514 percent) compared to one year earlier. Travel goods from Philippines and fishing lures from Cambodia contributed most to the increases. As noted recently, Montana Fly Company in Colombia Falls had to lay off 3 workers due to higher tariffs associated with GSP expiration.
GSP expiration cost South Carolina companies $1.8 million in January. Potential savings were up $607,000 (49 percent) compared to one year earlier. Plastic resins from South Africa, motorcycles from Thailand, and plaited goods (baskets, wickerwork) from India contributed most to the increases.
In addition to Georgia and North Carolina, companies in 19 other states (plus DC and Puerto Rico) saw potential GSP savings increase by at least 20 percent, including: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Potential savings on GSP imports from Tunisia increased by 115 percent compared to January of last year. Maryland companies alone imported $3.4 million in olive oil claiming GSP in January. GSP would’ve eliminated about $1.2 million in import taxes on monumental and building stone in January had it been in place. Illinois was among the largest importing states.
*** REMINDER: GSP EXPIRED EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1.***
The House passed GSP renewal legislation in February, but the Senate must pass legislation for GSP benefits to resume. Please use our Contact Congress tool to write your Senators about GSP renewal; answer our brief survey on how GSP expiration impacts you, and/or sign up for the free GSP supporter list to show the broad support for renewal.