GSP-eligible acrylics in action at the underwater Ithaa restaurant in the Maldives
Below are some new responses to our GSP reauthorization survey from companies in Colorado, Maryland, and Texas (to go along with responses highlighted yesterday and the day before).
With the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees both expecting to hold trade hearings and votes this week, we’re trying to collect as many responses as possible (ASAP). If you haven’t answered the survey yet, please take a moment to do so here.
Burris Company in Colorado imports sporting rifle scopes from the Philippines. In July 2013, the company decided to expand domestic manufacturing, but those plans were put on hold when GSP expired two weeks later. Since then, Burris has paid about $2.5 million in extra import taxes. The tariff refunds and guaranteed GSP benefits through December 2017 would allow Burris to move ahead with its expansion plans, including an investment in a new facility and CNC machinery that would create 10-15 permanent, high-paying manufacturing jobs in Colorado.
Reynolds Polymer Technology in Colorado imports acrylic sheet from Thailand used in the design and manufacture of custom aquarium windows and other specialty acrylic structures (pictured above). Since GSP expired, the company has paid about $300,000 in extra import taxes for this key component. Overall, revenue dropped by more than half a million dollars and several employees had to be let go. The proposed GSP renewal legislation would lower costs again, allowing Reynolds Polymer to increase sales and hire new workers again.
COLE-TUVE, Inc. is a small business in Maryland that imports Turkish metal fabricating machinery used by U.S. manufacturers. It has paid about $75,000 in extra tariffs because of GSP. Higher prices have forced COLE-TUVE to reduce inventories, and the company has lost about $250,000 in sales to customers that need quick delivery and cannot wait for a new order from Turkey. The company believes the proposal GSP renewal would allow it to increase both inventories and sales, as it would no longer need to turn customers away. The company could also give retirement contributions and annual raises again – both of which have been frozen since GSP expired – and “hopefully hire a new service man.”
Mediterranean Delight is a small business in Texas that specializes in olive oil imports from Tunisia. The company has paid more than $150,000 in tariffs because of GSP expiration and “lost sales that would have allowed the hiring of at least 4 more employees.” By refunding tariffs paid and giving Tunisian olive oil a tariff preference once again, the proposed GSP renewal legislation would allow Mediterranean Delight to hire 3 new account managers immediately. When sales growth returns to pre-GSP expiration levels, the company hopes to hire 6 more. In the meantime, Mediterranean Delight also plans to increase health care contributions to its existing employees.