The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program eliminates U.S. tariffs (i.e., taxes) on certain imports from developing countries. GSP imports in 2011 totaled $18.5 billion and the program saved American companies more than $700 million. GSP saved Maine companies an estimated $345,000 in 2011.

Maine companies imported an estimated $6.9 million under GSP in 2011, saving them on average 5.0%. Thailand was the most important source of GSP imports, accounting for about 41 percent of the tariff savings. Silver jewelry was Maine’s top import under GSP in 2011 and would have faced average tariffs of 5.2% without GSP.

Yet GSP is set to expire on July 31, 2013, and companies could face tariffs higher tariffs starting on August 1 if Congress does not pass legislation renewing GSP. When GSP expired at the end of 2010, American companies paid nearly $2 million per day, every day, until Congress finally acted 11 months later!

This graphic shows just some of the negative impacts from the last GSP expiration. It also helps explain why more than 335 companies and associations joined the 2011 GSP Supporter List urging renewal of the program when it last expired.

Are you a Maine company that would be hurt by GSP expiration? If so, please take 30 seconds to let Congress know by adding your name to our free 2013 GSP Supporter List right now.