U.S. House Renews Key Trade Program That Will Save Outdoor Companies Millions of Dollars

February 14, 2018

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed legislation today that will help outdoor companies lower costs on key products like duffel bags, backpacks and other travel goods.

The bill will renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for three years through the end of 2020. GSP provides duty-free access to the U.S. market on certain eligible products for more than 100 developing countries including the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.

Following an initiative supported by Outdoor Industry Association and outdoor companies, President Trump expanded the list of products eligible for duty-free status to include backpacks, duffel bags and other travel goods last July 1, resulting in an estimated $90 million a year in savings.

“OIA applauds the overwhelming, bi-partisan vote to renew GSP for three years,” said Rich Harper, OIA’s Manager of International Trade. “Expanding duty-free benefits in GSP to backpacks, duffel bags and other travel goods has saved outdoor companies millions of dollars and helped get more Americans outdoors. We look forward to prompt action by the Senate.”

GSP and duty-free status for eligible products expired at the end of 2017. The legislation that passed the House made the renewal of GSP retroactive to the beginning of 2018 and established a process for companies to apply for a refund of duties paid since that time.

The legislation now moves to the Senate for a final vote.