WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today applauded two new pieces of legislation introduced by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee. Led by U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, the legislation would modernize and reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), and the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (AMCA).
Importantly, the bills address significant shortcomings in recently passed Senate legislation, which failed to fix the GSP eligibility criteria and transparency provisions, and address loopholes in the MTB process that benefit China. Additionally, the legislation aims to support domestic manufacturers and limit benefits for imports from China by excluding finished products from future MTB cycles.
“For too long, Congress has routinely renewed trade preference programs that have directly contributed to the offshoring of tens of millions of American jobs and U.S. domestic manufacturing capacity,” CPA Chair Zach Mottl said. “Thankfully, these two new bills finally seek to address these flawed programs so that they will more accurately reflect pro-worker trade policies. Importantly, they also fix serious deficiencies in the recently passed Senate legislation that would be a huge giveaway for Chinese importers.”
This month, the CPA Economics Team published new research outlining the negative impact of the GSP and “how trade liberalization policies have not always been the best tool to help support economic growth and reduce poverty among developing countries.” In May, CPA sent a letter to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, outlining seven serious concerns with his recently introduced Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2021.
“On behalf of CPA and our members, we applaud these new pieces of legislation that seek to reform U.S. trade programs so that they actually benefit American workers and American companies,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA. “For years, Congress has renewed the GSP and MTB programs that have been part of the overall United States policy of import facilitation which helps drive out domestic production. As industrial production has moved overseas, the quality of jobs available in the U.S. has deteriorated significantly—especially for people of color. As Congress considers these important bills, we look forward to further limiting the scope of GSP-eligible products that should be made domestically and, ultimately, winding down and ending these programs for good.“
Earlier this year, Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA, penned an op-ed outlining why the MTB threatens President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan because the “MTB continues to be used by multinational businesses and retailers to avoid sourcing American-made goods and instead bring in cheap imports.” CPA has long opposed renewal of the MTB and called on former President Donald Trump to veto legislation to renew it in September of 2018. Last year, CPA called on Congress to renew the GSP so that it serves the national interest, suggesting five separate reforms.