Andean Trade Act Approved
Congress recently approved a 6-month extension of the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) for Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia (major cut flower supplier countries). Therefore, duties will not be assessed on importers of record as of Jan. 1, 2007.
Under the new bill, the ATPDEA will be extended for six months for Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. This will be followed by another 6-month extension for each country, but this will happen only if the United States and that country complete their legislative processes to approve a free trade agreement.
Peru and Colombia have completed free trade agreements with the United States, but the U.S. government has not yet approved them. Once the president submits a free trade agreement to Congress, lawmakers have 90 days to ratify the agreement with no amendments.
Ecuador and Bolivia have not completed FTAs with the United States. If an FTA is not ratified with Ecuador, importers of record will have to pay duties on Ecuadorian product on July 1, 2007.
For more information on this issue, visit www.safnow.org.