Omnibus Bill offers mixed results for SFIA
Tariff savings via GSP renewed, HSA reform (PHIT Act) not included
The recently-passed omnibus funding bill contained some good news for SFIA members making sports bags, equipment bags, backpacks and golf bags, as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program was renewed. The GSP program eliminates duties on eligible products made in 122 countries with developing economies to encourage investment in manufacturing in those countries. Manufacturers currently pay up to 17.6% tariffs on GSP eligible bags. If sourced in a GSP-eligible country, the bags would enter the U.S. duty free. A complete list of GSP-eligible countries can be found here: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/gsp/Beneficiary%20countries%20March%202017.pdf
On the down side, congress opted not to include a bipartisan package of HSA reforms, which included SFIA’s Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. PHIT promotes activity as form of prevention, and would allow consumers to use funds in pre-tax medical accounts to pay for activity expenses to encourage healthy lifestyles. The bill has gained tremendous support and currently has more than 140 members of congress backing it, split almost evenly between Democrats and Republicans. The HSA reform was tied to other healthcare issues under consideration for the omnibus, but when congress could not reach an agreement on the full package of health issues related to HSA reform, they chose to wait for another opportunity. Congress recognizes the need for HSA reform and SFIA continues to explore every avenue to advance the PHIT Act and give consumers greater flexibility on how they spend their healthcare dollars.