One of the most important things that companies who have been hurt by GSP expiration can do is contact the members of their Congressional delegation.  While many Representatives and Senators know about the GSP program, they don’t necessarily know which of their constituents benefit from it.  That’s where letters and phone calls can really make a difference.

Take Con-Tech International.  Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Con-Tech imports steel and steel parts under GSP, primarily from Brazil and India.  These parts are used by manufacturers in the marine hardware, steel drum, and bulk container industries.  GSP reduces Con-Tech’s wholesale cost on imports from Brazil by 2.9 percent.  That might not sound like a lot, but in a letter sent to the entire Louisiana congressional delegation, Con-Tech’s president made it clear how much that means to their business:

The normal gross margin that we add to the landed purchase price of our steel is 5%.  We now make the 5% less the 2.9% duty, or 2.1%. This does not even cover our administrative and cargo insurance costs and means that we are losing money on our steel sales.  We obviously cannot go on forever losing money.

Congress needs to know that inaction on GSP is putting successful small businesses into the red.  Receiving a simple letter like this can turn a “passive supporter” into a member that demands action on behalf of his/her constituents.  And that’s what we need if we hope to pass a GSP renewal in the near future.

If you’re company is hurt by GSP expiration, make sure you reach out to your members of Congress.  You can follow these links to find contact information for all Senators and Representatives.  If you need more help or would like to be part of a more coordinated renewal effort, don’t hesitate to contact us.