American Metal Market

August 5, 2013

End of GSP likely to cost US firms 'millions'

NEW YORK - The U.S. government's failure to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which expired July 31, means that domestic companies "will need to find tens of millions of dollars to pay unnecessary import taxes," the Coalition for GSP said.

Companies will start paying an estimated $2 million per day in new import taxes after a bill that would have extended the GSP program until October 2015 failed to pass the U.S. Senate before Congress entered an August recess, according to the coalition, whose members include Miami-based Georgian American Alloys Inc. and Traxys North America LLC, New York.

The GSP program extended duty-free treatment to several thousand products imported by the United States, including ferroalloys, from developing nations such as India, Russia and South Africa.

The GSP program facilitated more than $1 billion in imports of "steelmaking and ferroalloying materials" in 2012, according to the coalition. 

"The idea that such an important program will expire despite support from 99 senators to pass the legislation is difficult to swallow. Yet it demonstrates the strong bipartisan support for GSP, and we look forward to working with Congress to renew this critical program when it returns in September," coalition research director Daniel Anthony said in a statement.