Senate Approves Amendment Renewing GSP, Next Steps Unclear

On May 27, the Senate approved by a vote of 94-1 an amendment to pending anti-China legislation that would retroactively renew and extend GSP from December 31, 2020 until January 1, 2027, add new eligibility criteria for beneficiary countries, including human rights, women’s economic empowerment, and rule of law, and require regular country eligibility reviews. While a very strong vote, the fate of the overall anti-China legislation remains uncertain. 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, and urges you to write your members of Congress to encourage them to retroactively renew GSP as soon as possible. It only takes a couple of minutes.