GSP saved American companies a record $1.03 billion in 2018, smashing the previous high of $894 million set in 2017. Since Congress renewed GSP in 2015 following a multi-year lapse, annual GSP savings for American companies have increased by more than $350 million.
Despite overwhelming congressional support for GSP renewal in 2018, the Trump administration has taken actions that will gut GSP benefits for many American companies. Last week, USTR announced its intent to terminate GSP benefits for India and Turkey.
Imports from India and Turkey accounted for over $330 million of those tax savings for American companies in 2018 – and there could be more bad news to come. There are “pending reviews” for other major GSP suppliers such as Indonesia and Thailand that accounted for over $310 million in GSP savings last year. (Decisions could be announced at any time.) As such, less than 40% of GSP benefits came on products where there is no an immediate risk of losing GSP.
For many states, the situation is even more dire: India and Turkey combined to account for more than 60% of GSP savings for companies in Nebraska (77%), New Mexico (70%), North Dakota (64%), Missouri (64%), Iowa (63%), Delaware (63%), and Oklahoma (61%). House Members from those states voted 25-0 in support of the 2018 GSP renewal bill (2 were not present), but their reauthorization support could be undermined by the Admistration’s actions.
When you include countries under review, 43 states (!) had at least half of all GSP savings in 2018 come from countries at risk of losing GSP. In addition to states listed above, over 80% of GSP savings are at risk for companies in Maine (87%), Tennessee (85%), Mississippi (84%), Alaska (83%), and Minnesota (81%). Again, there was unanimous support among voting House Members from those states for the 2018 reauthorization bill.