Travel Goods Industry Calls on Congress to Pass GSP “Refund-Only” Bill ASAP as Industry Grapples with Supply Chain Crisis and Inflation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 21, 2022 — The Travel Goods Association (TGA) applauds Monday night’s introduction of the GSP “Refund-Only” Bill (H.R. 8906) in Congress. The GSP “Refund-Only” Bill would refund more than $700 million in tariffs paid ON luggage, handbags, backpacks, cases, wallets, and hundreds of other products due to the expiration of the popular Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program on December 31, 2020.
“The travel goods industry, comprised mostly of small and medium-sized family-owned businesses and our 100,000 American workers, faces strong headwinds of spiraling inflation and a worsening supply chain crisis as we enter the critical holiday shopping season,” said Michele Marini Pittenger, President of the Travel Goods Association. “That is why we need Congress to act quickly to approve the GSP “Refund-Only” Bill to help our industry at a time when we need it most by providing refunds on the millions of dollars in tariffs our members have been forced to pay since GSP has expired.”
“Today, one fifth of all U.S. travel goods imports come from developing countries that qualify for benefits under the GSP program, which establishes strong labor, market access, and intellectual property rights (IPR) requirements for beneficiary countries. Congress should renew GSP immediately. In lieu of immediate renewal, immediate passage of this bill would provide companies that have committed to these countries with the support to continue to grow and build the industry.”
GSP is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. It is designed to support economic development in select developing countries by removing tariff barriers on qualifying products, while supporting worker rights, intellectual property protection, and market access in these beneficiary countries. Historically, the GSP program has garnered overwhelming bipartisan support from its inception in 1974 and in the many Congressional re-authorizations since. The refunding of tariffs collected during prior gaps in the program’s operation has been common in previous renewal bills.
TGA strongly supports renewal of GSP, including joining 270 groups in a letter to Congressional leadership in May 2022 asking for GSP renewal.
For more information on GSP, please contact TGA’s Nate Herman, email@example.com, 301-775-7633.