For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 23, 2002
Andean Trade Preference Act
"Open Trade and Investment Bring Healthy, Growing Economies, and Can Serve the cause of democratic reform.... I ask the Senate to schedule a vote, as soon as it returns, on renewing and expanding the Andean Trade Preference Act."
President George W. Bush
Organization of American States
January 16, 2002
President Bush is committed to the renewal and expansion of the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA), and renews his call on the Senate to bring ATPA to a vote as soon as possible.
Objectives: ATPA was signed into law in 1991. It provides the beneficiary countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru duty-free access to the U.S. market for a wide range of products. ATPA promotes economic alternatives to drug-crop production in the Andean region, helps build the economies of our regional trading partners, and strengthens democracy and regional stability by giving governments tools to fight narco-terrorism.
Program Success: Since the initiation of ATPA, two-way trade between the U.S. and the ATPA countries has doubled. U.S. exports to ATPA countries have increased 75 percent in dollar terms, with many of these exports serving as inputs to ATPA-qualifying products. United States imports from ATPA countries have more than doubled, helping to create approximately 140,000 new, legitimate jobs in the region. This economic incentive helped boost alternative development and drug crop eradication programs, resulting in the elimination of over 1 million acres of coca between 1995 and 2000.
Status: ATPA expired on December 4, 2001. A bill to renew and expand the program has passed the House; a similar bill is pending a vote in the Senate. On February 15, 2002, the Administration implemented a 90-day deferral on the collection of duties that were formerly covered under the ATPA to mitigate the financial impact of the lapse on affected businesses.
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