Some people might think that GSP’s relatively low share of total U.S. imports means it doesn’t have a big impact.  However, for the products covered by GSP – and the American companies buying those products – its importance cannot be overstated.

There were approximately 10,600 country-product combinations imported under GSP in 2012, from Afghani fruits to Zimbabwean wood products and everything in between. As shown by the graph below, for the majority of these country-product combos, the imports come in under GSP or not at all.
Importance of GSP for Specific ProductsFor country-product combos worth $2.7 billion in 2012, not a single penny was imported outside of the GSP program!  That accounts for about 43 percent of all country-product combos and is an amazing statistic considering that importers and their customs brokers 1) need to know about the GSP program; 2) specifically claim benefits; 3) meet certain in-country value-added thresholds, and 4) maintain extra  documentation on GSP imports.

Many of these “100 percenters” are raw materials and industrial goods used by American manufacturers, such as ferrosilicon from Russia and Georgia and ceramic laboratory materials from Brazil.

For another $4.4 billion worth of GSP imports in 2012, at least 99 percent of U.S. imports of those products from GSP-eligible countries came in under the program, including tires from Indonesia, aluminum alloy sheets from South Africa, and metal flanges from India.

Even the value of imports on the low end of the spectrum is deceptively high: $628 million of the $852 million worth of imports in the “less than 25 percent” category come from two oil products from Angola – which overwhelmingly receive duty-free access under AGOA.