Key Senator Introduces GSP Renewal Legislation

Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (OR) introduced legislation to update and reauthorize three expired trade programs: the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA). For GSP, the legislation would retroactively extend GSP from Dec. 31, 2020 until January 1, 2027, add new mandatory eligibility criteria for beneficiary countries, including human rights and the environment, add new discretionary criteria on the environment, women’s economic empowerment, rule of law, and digital trade, and require regular country reviews. It remains unclear whether Senator Wyden will be able to hotline the legislation in the Senate, which requires unanimous consent from all 100 Senators. Note that the new eligibility requirements and required review could put into jeopardy GSP benefits for key travel goods suppliers like Myanmar and Cambodia. GSP expired on December 31, 2020, meaning that U.S. travel goods imports from a wide range of developing countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Pakistan have paid full duties since January 1, 2021. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued instructions on how importers can retain the right to collect refunds of duties paid if GSP is retroactively renewed. In 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from GSP countries increased 8.4%. GSP countries supply 16.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports today. TGA continues to lobby Congress for immediate and retroactive renewal of GSP. TGA urges you to write your members of Congress to urge them to retroactively renew GSP as soon as possible. It only takes a couple of minutes.