Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Import Data Show China Continues to Dominate in Luggage and Travel Goods

The second quarter import statistics released this week show China continuing to dominate as a shipper of certain luggage and travel goods the object of a bill, H.R. 2139 to grant GSP benefits for luggage and travel goods. For a list of the specific luggage and travel goods covered by the bill click here. China accounted for $3 billion of the $4.3 billion in total imports of these articles. Combined China and Vietnam accounted for 76% of all imports. Other significant shippers were France and Italy, which, combined, accounted for 13% of imports by dollar value. The data behind that analysis is available by clicking here

The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences ("GSP") is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of 127 designated beneficiary countries and territories. None of the four largest shippers, who collectively account for 90% of U.S. imports of these kinds of luggage and travel goods are eligible for GSP, so the bill will not effect duties on those imports. One GSP-eligible country, India, accounts for 2% of imports and may be poised to take advantage of duty-free entry via GSP should the bill pass. Currently luggage and travel goods are exempted from GSP. In the first half of 2013 the GSP-eligible countries shipped to the U.S. $245 million in travel goods of the kind. While a small portion of those shipments were duty-free under other trade programs, the vast majority were dutiable and the income to the U.S. treasury totaled $26 million. To see the data behind this analysis click here. Were the bill to pass, those shipment could potentially be duty-free.

Supporters have expressed the belief that the bill, if enacted, may result in some production shifting from China and Vietnam to lesser developed nations. The remaining U.S. travel goods manufacturers, on the other hand, have expressed concerns the bill may result in more U.S. production shifting to the lesser developed nations.

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