It appears that Congressional leadership is preparing to consider a number of trade agreements including the renewal of the Globalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides duty-free treatment for U.S. imports including products used by the RV industry such as luan.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) said in a press release that it has been advocating for the renewal of GSP since its expiration. It appears those efforts may be paying off as the Senate is poised to consider reauthorization of GSP along with a number of other trade agreements this month. RVIA will continue to push for retroactive GSP renewal until it is achieved.
House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) recently indicated that GSP renewal will be part of a package of trade bills that will emerge from ongoing talks among House and Senate leadership. The trade package under negotiation would include GSP, all three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA), which helps U.S workers who’ve lost their jobs because of foreign trade, Brady said.
The (GSP) program expired on December 31, 2010. For more than three decades, GSP has provided duty-free treatment to selected goods imported from more than 130 developing countries. Approximately three-quarters of U.S. imports using GSP are raw materials, parts and components, or machinery and equipment used by U.S. companies to manufacture goods in the United States for domestic consumption or for export. In this fashion, GSP boosts the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and lowers the cost of consumer goods for American families.
This is certainly true as it applies to the RV industry, which is heavily reliant on imported luan.
A key element to renewal of the program will be the retroactive application of it back to its expiration on Dec. 31. This would require customs to reimburse importers and their customers for the duties levied on applicable products purchased from the start of this year to the renewal date.