Following the June 5 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Revitalizing and Renewing GSP, AGOA and Other Trade Preference Programs, the Coalition for GSP led a letter signed by more than 300 American companies and associations urging GSP renewal.

The letter highlighted the hearing testimony of Allison Gill, Legal Director of Global Labor Justice, who said: The most pressing need, fundamentally, is to reauthorize the program.” The vast majority of signers — which are headquartered in more than 35 states and operate in all 50 states — are small businesses struggling after nearly three and a half years of unexpected tariffs payments.

The letter also welcomed the statement from Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) that he is ready to see GSP, AGOA and potentially other preference programs all passed as part of a package by…next month.” After 42 months of expiration, such an ambitious timeline is not just warranted, but long overdue. Swift renewal would benefit several Idaho companies that signed the letter, including Mike’s Organic Curry, Royal Tropics, and Boise Cascade.

The comments submitted by the Coalition for GSP as a preface to the letter noted the staggering financial costs of this unprecedented GSP lapse cannot show the true ham expiration has done to American companies, workers, and trading relationships with GSP countries:

  • One letter signer, which has paid over $10 million in extra tariffs, laid off approximately 20% of its headquarters staff last week.
  • One letter signer, a small business that has paid over $4 million in extra tariffs, has laid off three-quarters of its workers. The owners have accumulated over $3 million in personal debt to keep the company afloat but are now preparing to close for good.
  • Numerous letter signers, mostly small business owners, have taken out loans against their homes while waiting for Congress to renew GSP, with high interest rates and continued congressional inaction making repayment nearly impossible.
  • Many letter signers, after investing significant time and money to find suppliers outside of China, have been forced to return to China. One noted 100% of their products were Chinese before 2018, and it took 18 months to shift to 80% GSP (and 20% non-GSP, non-China), but they are back to 95% Chinese products due to GSP lapse.