WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (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. The legislation would update and renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), two trade preference programs that have been a contributing cause of the offshoring of U.S. domestic production and good-paying jobs. CPA is the only national, bipartisan organization representing exclusively domestic producers and workers across many sectors of the U.S. economy.
The full text of the letter is available here and key excerpts are below.
“As Congress works hard to rebuild industries we have lost, CPA supports efforts to reshore critical industries and supply chains that have been offshored,” the letter states. “However, we oppose renewing programs that are part of the cheap import policy of the past and stand in direct conflict with Congress’s stated goals… The GSP and MTB programs should not be renewed unless and until they support the emerging strategy to rebuild industries that pay well and increase our national strength.”
CPA urged Chairman Wyden to address the following concerns “relating to GSP and MTB in the event they are renewed” by Congress:
- GSP: New administrative barriers to removing ineligible countries should not be added
- GSP: Focus on the least developed countries
- GSP: Add Automatic Ineligibility Triggers for Labor Rights and Other Violations
- GSP: Prevent free riders like China by Tightening the Rules of Origin
- GSP: Disallow Product in Industries We are Working to Rebuild
- MTB: Petitioners should work with the MEP to find domestic sources
- MTB: Only manufacturers should be eligible to petition for intermediate goods
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.