The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has made the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program a key legislative priority for the upcoming year.
According to a press release, the program was renewed in October of 2011, but is set to expire on July 31. For more than three decades, GSP has provided duty-free treatment to selected goods imported from more than 130 developing countries. Some three-quarters of U.S. imports covered by GSP are raw materials, parts and components used by U.S. companies to manufacture goods in the United States. In this fashion, GSP boosts the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and lowers the cost of goods for American consumers.
This is certainly true as it applies to the RV industry. Luan is used in nearly every RV, however, it is only available from southeastern Asia and has historically been eligible for GSP treatment.
Congress will be considering legislation later this summer to renew the GSP program. The Trade Subcommittee under the House Ways and Means Committee House and the Senate Finance Committee will take the lead on any legislation.
RVIA is participating with the Coalition for GSP, a Washington, D.C.-based group of U.S. businesses, trade associations, and consumer organizations that seeks the renewal of the GSP program by Congress before its expiration. The coalition is beginning preliminary discussions with members and key staffers on the lead committees, but it is difficult to generate any focus on trade issues right now given the current dysfunction of the Congress and the preoccupation with budgetary issues such as sequestration, the debt ceiling and possible tax reform.
As a component of the renewal strategy, support for GSP program will be a primary focus of RVIA’s upcoming Capitol Hill Advocacy Day on June 5.