Big trade news out of Washington yesterday: data released showed that $1.4 billion in GSP-eligible goods were imported in November. Unfortunately, since GSP was expired, American companies paid an extra $53.7 million in taxes.

Most of the companies paying those taxes are small businesses that can least afford them. Nearly 80 percent of companies on the GSP supporter list company have less than 100 employees, and the average company has just 15 workers. I’m sure that every one of them could’ve found better ways to spend the money, either investing in the business or simply giving out holiday bonuses.

While still high, GSP imports in November decreased substantially from $1.7 billion in October. Imports from each of the top five source countries – India, Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia, and Philippines – declined by at least 6 percent. Imports from both India and Indonesia decreased by 23 percent.

GSP Imports from Top 5 Sources-November 2013

It’s impossible to know exactly why GSP imports declined so much in November. Perhaps is was just a blip and they’ll rebound in December. Or perhaps – as GSP expiration drags on – companies are turning to other sources like China where they don’t have to worry whether or not Congress will get around to passing an extension…