On May 22, the Ambassadors from Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees. The Ambassadors expressed GSP’s importance “to strengthening our countries’ relationship with the United States both from economic and security viewpoints.”

The letter notes the significant drop in leading exports to the United States from both Georgia and Moldova following the lapse of GSP benefits. It also makes geopolitical arguments for GSP renewal in light of the Russian annexation of Crimea and subsequent actions in eastern Ukraine, stating:

The continuing political crisis, however, is causing great economic uncertainty, which is compounded by the lapse of GSP. Prior to the crisis, our economic ties to Russia were robust. We now look to the United States as a stronger and more reliable partner in ensuring the economic stability of our country. Our export markets are critical in maintaining employment. It is extremely important that the GSP program be reauthorized soon, as it will allow our businesses and workers to reestablish stable demand for their products and continue to expand into new products for export. The GSP is vital both to our economic stability and as a tool to strengthen our overall ties with the United States.

In addition to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members, the letter was also sent to the Secretaries of Commerce, State, Treasury, and Agriculture as well as the U.S. Trade Representative. A full copy of the letter is available is available here.