House passes GSP renewal legislation


   The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) renewal legislation under an expedited floor procedure.
   The bill, H.R. 4979, is now up to the Senate to consider reauthorizing the program, which has been expired since the end of 2017.
   H.R. 4979 would renew the program through 2020, and provide retroactive benefits for any goods normally eligible for GSP entered into U.S. commerce during the ongoing lapse in coverage, including goods withdrawn from warehouses for consumption during the timeframe.
   It would also modernize one of the processes for companies to obtain waivers of GSP competitive need limitations (CNLs) requirements.
   CNLs are a GSP mechanism by which duty-free treatment under the program is terminated for goods whose imports exceed certain statutorily outlined quantities.
   The Senate Finance Committee and Senate leadership will likely look for other legislation to which GSP renewal may be attached, as the Senate looks to avoid what can be a more complicated process of advancing standalone trade bills in an often hotly contested legislative environment.
   “By renewing the GSP program, American businesses can use duty-savings to compete internationally, lower costs for American families, hire more American workers, and invest in new products. The renewal of GSP also gives the Trump Administration an effective enforcement tool to open foreign markets, protect intellectual property, and improve workers’ rights,” American Apparel & Footwear Association CEO Rick Helfenbein said in a statement. “With strong bipartisan support in the House, we encourage the Senate to quickly follow suit.”
   Finance didn’t comment on prospects for consideration of the bill.

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