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The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the country’s largest and oldest preferential trade agreement, still shows some signs of life. The program was allowed to expire at the end of 2020 due to a lack of Congressional action. GSP has been allowed to expire numerous times in the past, and each time the program was renewed, the duty reductions were retroactive to the expiration date. Customs even has a system in place to allow for automatic refunds of duties should the program once again be granted a retroactive renewal. However, it is concerning that GSP has never been allowed to lapse for this length of time. Congress has had multiple chances to renew GSP and to reauthorize the Miscellaneous Trade Bill, including two bills put forth last year. Both of these bills failed to advance intact, with only provisions supporting our domestic semiconductor industry passing into law.

GSP has historically enjoyed bipartisan support, including expressions of support from numerous House Members this year, so the long lapse is surprising. One problem has been what some lawmakers see as a need to revamp the criteria to be met for a beneficiary country to retain their preference. This week, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade is to hold a hearing on “Reforming the Generalized System of Preferences to Safeguard US Supply Chains and Combat China.” This signals that the program is still being considered for renewal.

Recently, members of Congress wrote a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee expressing the need to renew GSP, making the case that renewal would help reduce America’s reliance on China. Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL), a member of the House Select Committee of the Strategic Competition Between the US and the Chinese Communist Party, stated it best. “China benefits from the expiration of the GSP program, and our companies pay the price. We know GSP works. We know that it has bipartisan support. Legislation to renew the program is long overdue.”

We could not agree more; it is past time.

 

Best Regards,

Sam McClure, LCB

Director of Compliance & Customs Services

 

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Meet one of CVI’s Customs Brokerage & Compliance experts, Sam McClure:

Sam serves as Director, Compliance and Customs Services for CVI. He serves as CVI’s corporate compliance officer and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of our Customs related services, including growth.

Sam started his career in 1977 with Waters Shipping Company in Charlotte, NC. He began as a document runner, soon becoming a leader in operations and customer service for the branch. Sam, along with Linda Masten, founded Central Carolina Shipping Inc. in 1983 as an independent Customs Brokerage firm where he served as Vice President for 26 years. Sam and Linda grew Central Carolina into a successful and highly respected member of the Carolinas trade community. When Charlotte opened their local chapter of the IFFCBA Sam was part of the organizing group and he headed the Customs committee for several years. Sam obtained his Customs Brokers License in 1984 and remained with Central Carolina until the company was acquired by CVI in 2009.

At CVI, Sam has held several positions in both the operations and sales departments. As an expert in U.S. Customs regulations, Sam is often called upon on to provide guidance to importers on Customs compliance issues. He makes regular presentations on matters related to importation and broader regulatory compliance.

– Sam McClure, LCB, Director of Compliance & Customs Services, CVI
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