The last thing anyone should be doing during an unprecedented public health crisis is creating more barriers for American-based companies to generate economic growth. But allowing trade preference programs like the Generalized System of Preferences to expire on Dec. 31 will do just that.

The chemical distribution industry plays a vital role in the American supply chain, and the competitiveness of distributors depends on the GSP program. In New York, the industry that the National Association of Chemical Distributors represents is a major economic engine, employing more than 4,098 people and generating $450.14 million in tax revenue while delivering valuable products to every industry sector. In the chemical distribution industry alone, a lapse in GSP is estimated to cost the American economy more than $55 million.

It’s time for Congress to stop the divisiveness and reauthorize this vital program to help save good-paying New York jobs, ensuring the livelihood of hard-working families.

Eric R. Byer

Arlington, Va.

The writer is president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chemical Distributors.

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