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RVIA: GSP Waiver on Lauan Denied by USTR

The White House and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published its annual proclamation of changes to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program on Nov. 1.

According to RVIA News & Insights, the program did not include a redesignation of a Competitive Needs Limit (CNL) waiver for lauan/meranti plywood from Indonesia in the proclamation, meaning that imports of this plywood are still subject to the 8% duty, as they have been since the previous waiver was revoked in 2015. This duty amounts to more than $1 million each month for importers of this plywood, which is factored into the cost that RV manufacturers pay for the material.

The primary cause for the non-acceptance of the RV Industry Association’s petition for a waiver was a report from the International Trade Commission (ITC) that claimed there was domestic production of a “like or directly competitive product.” The RV Industry Association (RVIA) believes the ITC report contains a number of errors, omissions and analytical problems, and submitted a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Highlights of the letter include:

RVIA is currently working with some of our RV industry champions on Capitol Hill to determine if any further legislative steps are available to overcome this flawed report and once again bring lauan/meranti under the GSP program.

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