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February 13, 2018 | by    

U.S. House Could Vote On Bill To Reauthorize Generalized System Of Preferences This Week

U.S. House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) has introduced legislation, H.R. 4979, that would renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program through 2020. Authorization of the program had expired on December 31, 2017.

According to American Shipper, Rep. Reichert’s bill would “provide retroactive benefits for any normally eligible GSP goods entered into U.S. commerce during the ongoing lapse in coverage.” Last month, Connecting the Dots reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had urged importers to continue to keep track of GSP-eligible goods in case the program was reauthorized retroactively.

As Rep. Reichert noted, “The GSP program saved U.S. companies over $865 million in import duties in 2017, benefiting thousands of companies of all sizes and their employees.” Rep. Reichert also said, “The GSP eligibility criteria provide an important enforcement tool to require our trading partners to meet standards established by Congress in regard to opening their markets to U.S. goods and services, intellectual property protection, and child labor and worker rights.”

The U.S. House could vote on Rep. Reichert’s bill as early as this week. Metals Service Center Institute members are encouraged to call their member of Congress to tell them how they feel about H.R. 4979. Click here for contact information for every member of the House.

According to Politico’s “Morning Trade,” the path for GSP reauthorization is still unclear in the U.S. Senate. Politico said reauthorization “would likely only move as an attachment to a larger piece of legislation, such as an expected omnibus spending bill … near the end of March. One Senate aide told Politico that the “most likely scenario” is that the Senate uses a House-passed GSP bill as the basis for the Senate legislation rather than writing and introducing it’s own bill. MSCI members are also asked to contact their senators if this program is important to them. Click here to find contact information for all U.S. senators.