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US And Colombia Sign Trade Promotion Agreement

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

24 November 2006

Deputy US Trade Representative John Veroneau and Colombian Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism Jorge Humberto Botero on Wednesday signed the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA), a comprehensive agreement that will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and Colombia.

“The signing of this agreement today marks an important milestone in our partnership with Colombia,” announced Ambassador Veroneau, continuing:

“The agreement will deepen and strengthen our trade ties by providing new opportunities for US businesses, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers to export their goods and services to one of Latin America’s most robust economies. These opportunities will translate into more jobs for US workers and greater choices for US consumers. For Colombia, this agreement will provide permanent access to the US market, which will aid in sustaining real growth, creating more jobs, and attracting new investment.”

“The US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will contribute to our collaborative efforts to promote peace and enhance stability and security across the Andean region. The Agreement will also provide a strong framework to address labor issues, with targeted remedies for labor violations. We look forward to working with members of Congress to ensure bipartisan support for the agreement,” he added.

According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, upon implementation of this agreement, over 80% of US exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia will become duty-free immediately. Additionally, US farm exports to Colombia such as high quality beef, cotton, wheat, soybeans and soybean products, fruits and vegetables will receive immediate duty-free treatment.

The agreement will remove barriers to US service providers doing business in Colombia; provide a secure, predictable legal framework for US investors; protect intellectual property rights; and provide for effective enforcement of labor and environmental laws.

In 2005, US goods exports to Colombia totaled nearly $5.5 billion. Two-way goods trade between the United States and Colombia during 2005 amounted to $14.3 billion.

Many products from Colombia already enter the US market duty-free under the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), which expires on December 31, 2006. This new agreement helps Colombia to expand its current access and lock in duty-free treatment for Colombian products.

TAGS: environment | investment | business | law | intellectual property | tariffs | Colombia | enforcement | United States | trade | services

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