Last week, the House overwhelming approved GSP renewal legislation (HR 4979) but a vote of 400-2. The statements in support of GSP renewal were as strong as the final vote. Several Members highlighted how GSP savings can help companies lower costs, hire workers, and invest in their businesses and employees:
Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX): “In Texas alone, our local job creators saved more than $76 million. Of course, this is money that our businesses can instead use to hire more workers, expand, and innovate. But think about what it means for families.”
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), who helped spearhead last October’s House letter urging GSP renewal: “In 2017, producers in my state saved $17 million on GSP imports through reduced tariffs. There savings translate directly to how much companies can reinvest in their businesses and their employees.”
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN): “GSP helps American manufacturers both big and small cut input costs, which in turn lowers prices for consumers. Companies saved $865 million in import duties in 2017 alone.”
Other went further and highlighted specific companies that would benefit from GSP renewal, including GSP supporter list companies TRInternational and Kona Bicycle in Washington, Primetac in New Jersey, and TopFlite Mfg. in Florida.
Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA): “In my home state of Washington, GSP saved companies about $11 million in import duties in 2017 — up 30 percent from 2016.
As just one example, TRInternational, a small but quickly growing veteran-owned chemical distributor in Seattle, relies on GSP to obtain certain chemical raw materials at globally competitive prices. Our last renewal of GSP in 2015 allowed TRI to hire more employees and increase its capital expenditures. Many of TRI’s customers are U.S. manufacturers, and TRI’s use of GSP to obtain raw materials at lower prices also makes these manufacturers more competitive.
For TRI, and for other Washington companies like Kona Bicycle that use the GSP program, their employees, and American consumers, GSP provides significant benefits.”
Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Pascrell (D-NJ): “Since the expiration of the program, small and medium-sized enterprises have borne the burden of higher costs of products imported under the GSP program.
Consider Primetac, located in Little Ferry, New Jersey, a family-owned business from my district that uses GSP-eligible goods to support their industrial packaging business. When GSP last expired, Primetac was forced to raise prices to compensate for new import taxes. This was no small increase, as the company estimates it paid about $1.5 million in new tariffs during the program’s lapse.
This legislation would provide benefits retroactively to GSP-eligible imports, so that small and medium-sized American companies like Primetac can take full advantage of the benefits of GSP and boost their business’s productivity. It is critical that we act quickly to renew this already expired program to support these firms and their employees.”
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL): “In 2017, U.S. importers enjoyed nearly $865 million in savings on import duties under the GSP program. During the same year, my home state of Florida had $1.2 billion of imports covered by the program and a total of $59 million in savings on import duties—Mr. Speaker, that’s about a 40 percent increase in savings from 2016.
I want to share the story of Mr. Bruce Price, a small business owner in my district who would benefit from renewing the GSP program. He recently told my office that he expects savings in the range of $25,000 to $45,000 per year if the program is renewed. For Mr. Bruce, that amount of savings goes a long way and makes a major difference in his business decision to hire more workers or hold off.
I commend the work that the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee has done to reinforce our commitment to free and fair trade partnerships around the world. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 4979 to help Mr. Bruce and other small business owners hire more workers.”
Clearly, Members of Congress want to know about the companies impacted by GSP and its expiration. As the GSP Coalition continues to advocate for swift, retroactive GSP renewal, we strongly encourage companies to sign up for our free GSP supporter list and answer our expiration impacts survey.