…and Wikipedia.  Apparently, Congress first created a holiday for government offices in Washington, DC in honor of George Washington in 1880.  Five years later, the holiday was expanded to cover all federal workers, and for the next 85 years government workers took off February 22, Washington’s birthday.  In 1971, Congress changed the holiday to the 3rd Monday of the month, ensuring that it could never be celebrated later than February 21 (like this year).  In other words, barring another intervention from Congress, Washington’s Birthday holiday will never again fall on Washington’s birthday.

What does this have to do with GSP renewal?  Nothing at all, except for – and this is a bit of a stretch – the part about needing congressional action to change the status quo.  That said, we decided to honor our first president by highlighting companies in Washington-themed locales that import GSP-eligible products:

  • Club Car, which manufactures golf carts and other compact electrical vehicles at its facility on Washington Road in Evans, Georgia, imports parts for suspension systems from India.  GSP saved American companies buying those suspension systems $2 million in 2010.
  • Rawling Sporting Goods, located in Washington, Missouri, imports leather gloves from Pakistan.  Approximately $64 million worth of batting gloves and baseball mitts entered the U.S. duty free under GSP in 2010, eliminating tariffs of 3.0% to 4.9%.
  • Tweezerman International, in Port Washington, New York, imports metal tweezers from India.  GSP saved American companies nearly $300,000 on tweezer imports last year.
  • TRInterational, Inc., in Seattle, Washington, has imported citric acids from Thailand.  By waiving the 6.0% tariff, GSP reduced the cost of citric acid by more than $2.2 million.

Since our 16th President is frequently included in Presidents Day celebrations, we couldn’t leave these companies out either:

  • Midwest Tile, Marble and Granite, Inc., headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, imports monumental and building stone from India and Brazil.  GSP eliminated about $9.5 million worth of tariffs in 2010.
  • Ungerer & Company, in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, imports “odoriferous or flavoring compounds” from Indonesia, where the company has a facility in Medan.  GSP eliminated the 4.8% tariff on nearly $6 million worth of imports of those compounds in 2010.
  • AGCO, whose Hesston agricultural machinery division is located on West Lincoln Blvd in Hesston, Kansas, has imported transmission shafts and other metal articles from Brazil.  GSP saved importers of these products from Brazil $2.3 million last year.