Check out this excerpt from Artbeads.com's blog...regarding the addition of 13.5% duty to all Bali & Hill Tribe silver products as of January 1st, 2011!
"Chief Operating Officer, Michael Hervieux.
Since 1976 the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) has been in place to promote economic growth in under-developed nations by offering duty-free entry into the US for a large number of products including, among others, Bali and Hill Tribe Silver. The federal government is required to continually reassess and reauthorize this program in order to keep it in place and over the years has let it lapse several times only to pick it up once again. Unfortunately, this program was most recently only authorized until December 31, 2010 so effective January 1, 2011 all imports of products previously covered by the GSP have been levied at the standard duty rates that are as high as 13.5%. There is no estimated date for when the GSP will be renewed or if it will even happen. Sadly, Artbeads finds itself with little choice but to raise the prices on these items to help cover this new cost. (These prices will be rolled out in the next few days so now would be a good time to stock up!)
As always Artbeads strives to be as open as possible about outside influences on prices. Over the course of the last year the sterling silver market has been highly volatile and has forced us to move our prices up significantly. However, when the silver market declines our prices have likewise been adjusted accordingly. As soon as we learn if and when the GSP will be renewed we will be sure to keep you advised and will roll back our prices accordingly.
-Michael Hervieux, Chief Operating Officer, Artbeads.com"
I have my fingers crossed...hoping the "powers that be" take a fresh look at this and renew the GSP...could happen as they done it before!!!
By the way I just checked the silver prices and they've gone down to $26.80...thank goodness the price is going down!!! Good things come to those who wait...
Things could be worse... :0)
Have a great day...Cheers