WASHINGTON –U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-N.V., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., voicing strong support for the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program which expired last July.

The GSP, a trade program that helps U.S. manufacturers remain competitive and supports economic growth in developing countries, has had a significant impact on New Jersey businesses. In 2013 alone, New Jersey’s GSP imports totaled $1.8 billion in goods across the industrial, raw goods, food, appliance, energy, and chemical industries. The GSP program stands to save New Jersey businesses $64 million in 2015.

In the letter Sen. Booker wrote:

“Since Congress allowed the GSP program to expire in July 2013, businesses have reportedly paid nearly $2 million each day in higher expenses as a result of our failure to act. In New Jersey, this means that businesses like food distributor Atlantic Beverage Co. and electronics company Panasonic Corporation are losing out on millions in savings on tariffs waived under the GSP program.

Instead of investing in innovative new ideas and job-creating ventures, the higher costs associated with the expiration of GSP have forced many companies to halt new investments and trim their workforces. Continued delays will only create additional barriers for U.S. business facing an increasingly competitive global market.”

The signed letter can be viewed here.