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Statement by Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer on the Extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act by the U.S. House of Representatives, Feb. 27, 2008

"The extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today would provide a bridge while we work to secure Congressional passage of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and to implement the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. I encourage the U.S. Senate to pass this extension before ATPA expires this week and then move forward to pass the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

"The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will replace one-way with two-way free trade by providing U.S. farmers, ranchers and businesses with duty-free access to that market. Last year, Colombia's more than 44 million consumers bought $1.2 billion worth of U.S. food and agricultural products, and this agreement provides preferential access for boosting our sales significantly. It will also promote democracy and economic growth, and help Colombia alleviate poverty.

"For the past 16 years, Colombia and Peru have had almost duty-free access to the U.S. market. Last Fall, Congress took a step toward allowing U.S. exports to benefit from two-way trade by approving the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. Now, it is time for Congress to provide U.S. farmers and ranchers with duty-free access to an even larger market by approving our agreement with Colombia."

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Release No. 0059.08
FAS PR 0040-08

Contact:
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623



 
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