Summit Specialty International in Alpharetta, Georgia imports pine interior doors from Brazil that are used for new residential construction. A small company with annual sales of approximately $3 million, the cost of GSP expiration is about 3 percent of annual revenue and has had a tangible impact on the company’s bottom line. According to owner Alex Livingston:
“The loss of $90,000 in tariffs has not allowed us to invest in either people or new equipment in a manner in which we would like to. We have opportunities to expand, now that the home building business is starting to grow again.”
Yet continued GSP expiration prevents Summit from taking advantages of those opportunities. Expiration also has forced Summit to buy certain door styles from China, since their prices have not been impacted by GSP expiration. Given that there are no price competitive US alternatives, Livingston would prefer “doing business with a country (Brazil) that is in our hemisphere and more amenable to US interests.”
Retroactive GSP renewal would allow Summit to invest in new equipment and hire new employees to take advantage of the improving home building environment. It could also return to buying from its preferred suppliers.
Summit’s story comes from a response to our new survey launched last week on the impacts of GSP expiration after one year. We hope to collect many more examples (like this one and this one) so that we can publish the results when Congress returns to DC on September 8.
If you have not done so already, please take a minute to answer these questions by Friday, August 29. As always, all data will be kept confidential and no company-specific answers will be attributed unless you explicitly grant permission (which Summit did).