Congress will return in mid-November following elections for a “Lame Duck” session – the final (short) window of opportunity this year for Congress to pass GSP-related legislation. The Coalition for GSP seeks company/association signatures for the letter below urging GSP renewal including changes such as the CNL Update Act or, failing that, passage of legislation to refund tariffs paid while companies wait for the next Congress to act. The deadline to sign has been extended until 6pm EST on Tuesday, November 29.
Only company name and location will be published, for example: Coalition for GSP (Washington, DC)
If you have multiple locations, tell us in the provided box and we’ll contact congressional offices for each listed location despite only listing your headquarters location.
If you have questions, please contact Dan Anthony.
Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Republican Leaders McConnell and McCarthy:
As you consider the Congressional agenda for the rest of this year, we urge you to prioritize legislative action on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which lapsed on December 31, 2020. Established by the Trade Act of 1974, with a long history of strong bipartisan support, GSP supports the development of 119 emerging economies by eliminating tariffs and opening the U.S. market to qualifying exports. At the same time, GSP supports American workers and manufacturers by reducing costs of imported inputs and equipment and helps American families stretch their paychecks by lowering the costs of consumer goods imported duty-free.
Since the expiration of GSP in 2020, American companies have paid over $2 billion in extra taxes while also dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, high freight costs, and supply chain disruptions in both the United States and beneficiary countries. All of these issues have contributed to high and persistent U.S. inflation. At the same time, GSP expiration has hindered American companies’ effort to diversify suppliers and build more resilient supply chains.
Congress should pass a long-term retroactive reauthorization, including needed changes such as the “CNL Update Act” (H.R. 6171) provisions. Competitive need limitation (CNL) rules last updated by Congress in 1997 clearly undermine U.S. policy objectives in 2022. GSP cannot meet its development goals – or provide USTR with leverage to incentivize a race-to-the-top – if too many products lose benefits due to arbitrary and outdated caps. CNLs are particularly relevant in the China context, as current rules severely constrain the volume of new trade that can move to GSP countries. Similarly, many potential alternative suppliers to China in GSP countries face higher tariffs today due to CNL decisions from 5, 10, or even 25 years ago. The CNL changes have broad support: over 50 bipartisan House Members called for inclusion of H.R. 6171 in the China competition package in May.
If Congress cannot pass comprehensive GSP reauthorization this year, at a minimum it should pass H.R. 8906, which would refund GSP tariffs paid between January 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022. The Senate passed legislation with full refunds of GSP tariffs paid in June 2021. The House passed legislation with identical GSP refund language in February 2022. Yet, importers continue to pay tariffs. Including H.R. 8906 in year-end legislation would help mitigate the damage of continued GSP expiration until Congress is able to pass a long-term retroactive reauthorization of the program.
GSP has a nearly 50-year history of bipartisan support in Congress due to its track record of creating jobs in developing countries and the United States. After two years of inaction, the 117th Congress must renew GSP or find other ways to relieve American companies that have paid billions of dollars in extra taxes. We look forward to working with you to pass critical GSP legislation.