The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has joined a raft of organisations and businesses from across the US calling for the urgent renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and respective minority leaders Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell, they urge retroactive renewal of GSP before the end of the year.

The companies point out that the current expiration period of the system since July last year is the longest in its history, incurring extra taxes of more than US$850m for US companies over that period.

“This is having a severe impact on our companies and workers,” the organisations write.

“To compensate for higher taxes, some of us have been forced to lay off workers, delay new hires, cut worker benefits, and cancel job-creating investments while awaiting congressional action.

“Multiple companies who would otherwise have joined us in signing this letter could not, because they have gone out of business as a result of the higher costs associated with GSP expiration.”