Throughout the week, we’ve written about how GSP supports American jobs, reduces costs for families (whether they know it or not), improves the competitiveness of American manufacturers, and promotes development. Sounds great, right?

There’s just one problem: GSP is set to expire on July 31.

Given all the positive impacts of GSP both at home and abroad, the solution seems simple: Congress should immediately take up legislation to extend GSP.  The Coalition isn’t alone in advocating for immediate renewal.  More than 160 American companies and associations have called on Congress to do just that.

Such legislation should extend GSP for as long as possible.  Why? Because long-term renewals are the key to increased GSP usage, as you can see below (check out this post for all the gory details).

GSP_Expiration&Renewal_HistoryThe July 31 expiration date is particularly worrisome given the Congressional recess beginning on August 2nd.  If Congress is unable to renew GSP before leaving DC, importers will face a guaranteed six weeks of tariffs.  At a cost of about $2 million per day, failure to act before the recess virtually guarantees that American companies will pay at least $75-$100 million in new taxes.

Keep this fact in mind:  GSP duty-free treatment supports American jobs and U.S. competitiveness, and putting it at the tail end of the Congressional “to-do” list has adverse consequences.  The message of Imports Work for America week is simply this:  imports work, and programs like GSP that support imports should be a priority for American policy makers.

This post is part of the 2013 Imports Work for America Week initiative, an effort by a number of organizations and individuals in the trade policy community to talk about the benefits of imports for the U.S. economy.  You can visit the Imports Work website here.