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Renewed Trade Program Would Affect Wood Tariffs

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Legislation has been introduced that would reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences trade program.

The legislation, which also would reauthorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act, would reduce tariffs on luan wood used in RV manufacturing.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) have joined with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Michigan) in introducing legislation to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and other preference programs.

The GSP program lowers tariffs on imports from nearly 130 developing countries, but was allowed to expire in July 2013.

The RV Industry Association, along with other associations and companies, urged Congress to renew GSP retroactively. The preferences package was one of several trade bills introduced last week, including Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance.

The AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act of 2015 would renew both the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the GSP program.  It would reauthorize GSP through Dec. 31, 2017, and provide refunds on eligible products imported while the program was expired, including luan wood used in RV manufacturing.

Hearings on the series of trade bills began this week in both the House and Senate and the leadership in both houses has indicated that the bills will be brought to the floor soon, led by the TPA legislation.  Their ambitious timetable calls for having the trade bills to the president by the Memorial Day recess.

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