From time to time my office distributes press releases and written statements on state and national issues, debate in the Senate, and legislation that I am working on. For your convenience, I post these documents on my site for your review.
Sessions Introduces Free and Fair Trade Act
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
WASHINGTON¬—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) today introduced a bill that would modernize and reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through 2012, along with the Andean Trade Preference Act.
The GSP, originally authorized to avoid domestic job losses, extends duty-free benefits to products in developing countries that do not compete with products made in the United States. When Congress originally authorized GSP in 1974, it explicitly excluded many sensitive products, such as textiles and steel. However, due to a loophole in the law, foreign sleeping bags are allowed duty-free treatment even though they compete directly with American manufacturers, therefore threatening American jobs. In other words, sleeping bags are in a unique situation by being forced to compete with a foreign competitor that pays no taxes under the GSP.
“The current loophole in the GSP is an unfair policy and an injustice to American industries,” Sessions said.“Members on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged this is a threat to American workers. The legislation introduced today would not only fix this loophole in the GSP but also reauthorize the program to allow for trade to continue in a fair way. It is critical that we adopt policies that further American production and jobs, not favor foreign imports.”
The Exxel Outdoors Plant located in Haleyville, Alabama is the largest sleeping bag manufacturer in the United States. Exxel Outdoors nearly shut down this past year because of unfair competition from a Bangladesh company that imported sleeping bags to the United States. Sessions blocked the trade bill in December because of this unjust loophole.
Sessions’ legislation would also extend the Andean Trade Promotion Act to support Colombia and American jobs that depend on processing goods in Colombia. The bill (S.433) has not yet been voted on in the Senate.
||You will need to have Real One Player installed on your computer to be able to listen or watch the clips above. Real One Player is free software that lets you play audio and video files. Download Real One Player