GSP Footwear Act of 2017 Introduced in U.S. Senate

By Rich Harper October 30, 2017

The U.S. Senate has introduced a bill to help outdoor companies lower costs on some key outdoor footwear products.

The “GSP Footwear Act of 2017” will allow some of these outdoor shoes and boots to be included in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a program that provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for more than 100 developing countries. This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS). Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) in May.

 “We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Cantwell and Roberts in introducing the GSP Footwear Act of 2017,” said OIA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Alex Boian. “This common-sense legislation will help outdoor companies secure much- needed relief from import taxes that can be as high as 37.5%. When this bill gets done, it will mean lower costs and investment in innovation and will help fuel the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy and its 7.6 million American jobs.”

 If you currently source footwear from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand or other GSP-eligible countries, we particularly urge you to learn more about this legislation and join all OIA members in asking Congress to pass it as soon as possible.

 This initiative builds on the success of legislation passed in 2015 to allow certain travel goods, including backpacks and sports bags, to be included in the GSP program.