We’ve received numerous copies of emails sent to Congressional staff over the last week through our House and Senate email pages.  Every company’s story is different, as is the way they tell it.  If you want to write your Senators/Reps but aren’t sure where to begin, here are some excerpts of emails we’ve received to serve as inspiration for your own letters…

Layoffs Imminent: “Not only does [GSP expiration] affect the imported product but it also has a negative effect on our overall business with the products we manufacture here. Our customers will and have moved to other products, in many cases imports from China, that can give them competitive pricing on all products. The failure to renew GSP to date has resulted in approximately 3 layoffs in our company with the possibility of several more, up to 50, to come over the next few months if GSP not renewed.

Precise Costs: “[company] has paid $143,510.85 in tariffs on products that we expected to be duty free. This financial burden has slowed down sales and will result in downsizing if it does not get reinstated.”

New Burden for Small Start-Up: “GSP expiration has cost [company] more than $1,500 in new tariffs on imports of home décor items from the Philippines and Thailand. $1,500 in duty does certainly not sound like a lot but then I just started my business 8 months ago and need any help I can find to get it off the ground.”

Margins Already Reduced: “[company] has paid thousands of dollars in tariffs on products that we expected to be duty free. Unfortunately, the recent economy has had a drastic impact on our business, as well as our customer base. We are faced with pricing pressure every week, and have been forced to lower our margins to maintain market share…the [GSP] savings can go a long way toward our bottom line.

And one of my personal favorites…

Employees = Voters“GSP expiration costs [company] more than $880,000/year in new tariffs…[company] employs over 400 voters in California and looks to our representatives to support this duty saving program.”