NCBFAA lobbies for ælong-term renewalÆ of GSP
The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America asked the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to pursue a “timely and long-term renewal” of the Generalized System of Preferences program.
GSP is a U.S. program that grants duty-free treatment for certain imports from developing countries. GSP was renewed by Congress in 2001 for a period of more than five years. NCBFAA President Federico Zuniga, in an Oct. 28 letter to the USTR, said the last renewal of GSP was “a welcome change from the short, sporadic and uncertain renewals in the decades preceding the 2001 renewal.”
Zuniga called the pre-2001 short-term renewals “very damaging to many U.S. businesses, and counterproductive to the goals of the GSP program.”
GSP is scheduled to expire by the end of the year. A Federal Register notice recently asked for comment about whether GSP should be modified. The NCBFAA warned: “any significant changes to the program will create an environment of controversy that will delay renewal of the program.”
The NCBFAA told the USTR not to assume that by graduating larger GSP beneficiary nations off the program the smaller countries will benefit.
“In a very competitive, global marketplace, if a country loses its GSP eligibility, U.S. companies will seek an alternative supplier who can provide reliable service at the lowest cost,” Zuniga said. “Since the least-developed GSP countries often lack production capability as well as the infrastructure, China may very well become the alternative supplier. Not only would this diminish the effectiveness of GSP, it would exacerbate the gaping trade deficit with China.”