Photo by Lehigh Valley, PA [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, President Donald J. Trump declared July 16-22 to be “Made in America” week and held an event at the White House highlighting American-made products. Yet such events often overlook the benefits of imports, including programs such as GSP, in creating those American-made products.

Take BTR International, a small business in New York City that imports engine-ready camshafts from Brazil. GSP eliminates the 2.5 percent tariffs those imports would otherwise face. GSP savings help BTR provide the best-possible prices to customers, including iconic American manufacturers such as Mack Trucks.

Mack is among the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks, engines, and transmissions. Founded in 1900, Mack has an engine plant in Hagerstown, Maryland and assembles all its trucks for the North America market in Macungie, Pennsylvania. Mack exports its trucks throughout North and South America, Australia, and Africa.

The indirect savings from GSP for Mack are emblematic of the broader automotive industry. In 2016, GSP eliminated $78 million in taxes on auto parts ranging from camshafts to wire harnesses to brakes parts and tires. Michigan, California, and Tennessee were the principal beneficiary states.

By eliminating such taxes, GSP provides the U.S. auto industry a competitive edge. (Our GSP Supporter List includes numerous companies importing auto parts.) Without it, the higher costs would trickle through the supply chain, from small importers like BTR to major producers like Mack and eventually to the end customers at home and abroad. Such cost increases could lead to diminished sales and a cutback in U.S. auto manufacturing capacity.