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HOUSE PASSED: Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Tariff Relief, Cost Savings to the American People

February 14, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House voted 400-2 to pass H.R. 4979. This bipartisan legislation provides a three-year renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences program, a longstanding U.S. trade preference program that delivers tariff relief and cost savings to American businesses, workers, and consumers across the country.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statements:

“Today’s overwhelmingly bipartisan vote is a win for our businesses, consumers, and communities,” said Chairman Brady. “The GSP program reduces tariffs – which are essentially taxes – on thousands of products from around the world. Not only does this allow Americans to save money on products they use every day, it increases the competitiveness of American businesses and workers. Last year, the GSP program saved American job creators more than $865 million in tariffs, and our local businesses in Texas saw more than $76 million in cost savings. Less money spent on tariffs means more money that our job creators can use to hire new workers, grow paychecks, and invest in our communities. I urge the Senate to pass this bill as soon as possible and join the House in renewing this pro-growth, pro-family trade program for the American people.”

“By renewing GSP and providing tariff relief, we are creating opportunities for American businesses to grow and re-invest here at home and to compete globally. At the same time, we are strengthening our partnerships with developing countries and ensuring that our trading partners meet the standards of the GSP program. This tariff relief and accountability help our workers, manufacturers, and businesses succeed at home and abroad,” said Chairman Reichert. “In my home state of Washington, GSP saved companies about $11 million in import duties in 2017 – up 30 percent from 2016. As just one example, TRInternational, a small but quickly growing veteran-owned chemical distributor in Seattle, relies on GSP to obtain certain chemical raw materials at globally competitive prices. Our last renewal of GSP in 2015 allowed TRI to hire more employees in my state and invest in equipment. Many of TRI’s customers are U.S. manufacturers, and TRI’s use of GSP to obtain raw materials at lower prices also makes these manufacturers more competitive. For TRI, and for other Washington companies like Rain City Music that use the GSP program, GSP provides significant opportunities to their employees, and reduces costs for American consumers.”

CLICK HERE to read more about the Committee’s work on H.R. 4979.

CLICK HERE to watch Chairman Brady’s floor remarks in support of passage of H.R. 4979.