Imagine a world with no wailing solos from future Eric Claptons….or ballads from the next Stevie Wonder…or drum beats from….this kid. GSP might not teach kids how to play their instruments, but it does make them more affordable. In 2010, $84 million worth of musical instruments were imported duty free under GSP, waiving tariffs of up to 8.6% and saving more than $4 million.
This included 9,000 upright or grand pianos, 240,000 guitars, and nearly 800,000 percussion instruments. Most of these instruments are imported from Indonesia or Thailand, although GSP imports also came in from India, Pakistan, Ukraine, and even Cote d’Ivoire.
The companies importing these instruments are some of the best known in the music world: Scottsdale, Arizona-based Fender, maker of the legendary Stratocaster, imports instruments from Indonesia, as does Chesbro Music Company in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Pearl Drums, based in Nashville, Tennessee, imports percussion instruments from Thailand. So does Bloomfield, Connecticut-based KMC Music, the maker of Sabian cymbals. Kawai in Rancho Dominguez, California imports pianos and keyboards from Indonesia.
If you can play it, GSP can save you money on it. Actually, GSP could save you money if Congress acts to renew the program.