With a new GSP bill introduced on Thursday, we launched a new survey yesterday to help show why swift passage of the GSP renewal legislation is critical for US businesses. We expect a number of trade hearings the week of April 20, so please answer the survey ASAP if you’re impacted by GSP expiration (and haven’t answered already).
Special thanks to those companies that not only responded, but have allowed us to publish their survey responses. Here are just a few of the 50 or so responses received to date. Again, if you haven’t done so already, please answer our survey here.
Summit Specialty International in Georgia imports interior pine doors from Brazil. With total sales of about $4,000,000, the $150,000 in GSP payments was an extreme burden. According to owner Alex Livingston: “I have not been able to provide medical insurance (or even consider it) for my five employees. I pay them well above minimum wage and would like to provide them more benefits. I could also use additional office help. The return of the tariff money from the previous year and the additional margin will allow me to hire another worker, give raises, and invest in additional inventory, thus increasing sales.”
Associated Textile Mills in New York is a small business that imports tarps and drop clothes from India. GSP expiration has cost the company $70,000 in additional tariffs and results in a drop in sales. As a result, the company froze salaries and employees were forced to contribute to their health benefits. The proposed GSP renewal legislation would allow the company to eliminate the employee contributions to health benefits and hire two new employees, as it expects import volumes (and therefore sales) to increase significantly without the tariffs in place.
Pacific Paper Export in Washington is a small business that imports sauces and chutneys from Pakistan. Sales of products that needed to be priced higher fell and the company was unable to expand warehouse operations as planned due to lower import volumes. The company believes lower prices associated with a reinstated GSP would lead to a 30 percent increase in imports and allow it to bring on new employees.