Altus Brands, LLC is a small, 12-employee company in Grawn, Michigan – near Traverse City and Michigan’s “Little Finger” – that imports leather bags from the Philippines. It is among the many companies in the United States and around the world that needs Congress to renew GSP and refund tariffs paid immediately.
GSP benefits have become even more important in recent years since Altus Brands completely stopped buying this product from China due to 25% Section 301 tariffs. In 2020, GSP saved Altus Brands over $25,000 in eliminated tariffs. The company’s imports also further GSP’s development goals: it purchases from a factory that offers benefits and higher pay than other local factories. It’s good for workers in the Philippines and the United States, since the high-quality products command a higher price and help support other Made in the USA product lines.
But GSP expiration threatens all of this. Altus raised prices to cover the $14,000 (and growing) in extra tariffs paid. It has lost sales at home and in export markets (e.g., Canada, Germany, and Russia), which in turn led to reduced purchases from the Philippines.
According to company president Gerand Lemanski, it could get worse yet: “Without renewal of GSP my product is not competitive in the US market and I will have to cease selling this product within a year. That will result in letting one production person go.”
Unfortunately, Congress recently recessed until mid-September. Altus Brands’ experience shows why it must make GSP renewal an immediate priority when it returns.
Note: this example came from a new Coalition survey on expiration impacts. It was published with permission. GSP importers are encouraged to take the survey here – no company-specific details will be published without such permission.