Recently, the Coalition joined to with a number of leading trade associations to promote “Imports Work for America” week. May is World Trade Month and – as GSP users know better than most – there is more to trade than just exports. Yet in President Obama’s recent “World Trade Week” proclamation, there was not a single mention of the benefits of imports.

So we were very happy that the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed on the myths about imports written by Laura Baughman, President of The Trade Partnership (and the Coalition for GSP’s long-time Executive Director). While about imports generally, the article highlighted many of the points we make when talking about GSP specifically…

  • Many workers owe their jobs workers owe their jobs to imports.
  • The majority of U.S. imports are raw materials, components and machinery that are used to make goods or grow crops.
  • The U.S. economy isn’t entirely welcoming to imports. More than 1,000 product categories, including footwear and apparel, face U.S. duties of 10% or higher.

The article closed with a very important message: “Imports don’t threaten the American economy. Trade experts and government officials this week shouldn’t be shy about promoting them.”

That’s something we at the Coalition for GSP take to heart. And not just during “World Trade [INSERT TIME PERIOD HERE]” – but every single day when talking about need to renew GSP for American companies, workers, and families. If you haven’t read the entire article yet, be sure to do so here.

And the next time someone talks about the benefits of exports, let them know there’s more to the trade story. After all, you can’t spell “important” without I-M-P-O-R-T.