The Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) was enacted in December 1991 to counter the illegal narcotics trade by encouraging trade, investment, and employment in the legitimate economies of the ATPA countries (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia).
But because key Colombian exports were excluded from ATPA, its economic impact was limited. When the program expired in 2002, ATPA members sought a renewed and expanded version. This new program, known as Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) was enacted in August 2002 and will expire on December 31, 2006. ATPDEA is addressed to promote export diversification and create new employment in its beneficiary countries.
- YES. ATPA has generated significant job opportunities in a variety of economic sectors in each of the beneficiary countries
- YES. Alternative development programs in each of the ATPA countries have provided former drug-crop producers with viable income alternatives.
- YES. Total bilateral trade increased 45% between 1992 and 2002, from $6.2 billion to $9 billion, growing U.S. share of total Colombia trade from 37% to 42% in the same period.
- YES. ATPA contributed to the development of U.S.-Colombia trade, as ATPA qualifying imports from Colombia more than doubled from $323 million in 1993 to $717 million in 2001. Thus, U.S. imports under ATPA increased their share of total imports from Colombia, from 11% in 1993 to 13% in 2001.
- YES. With the renewal and expansion of ATPA through ATPDEA more than 70% of Colombian exports by volume to the U.S. now have preferential access, up from 14% under ATPA. The key new sectors included under ATPDEA are oil products and apparel, which account for 45% and 8% of U.S. imports from Colombia, respectively.
- YES. Key exports that have recovered with ATPA renewal and expansion are apparel, flowers, PVC and ceramic products. Importantly, Colombia’s textile-apparel sector, which accounts for 21% of manufacturing jobs and 9% of manufacturing output, is showing a strong recovery helped by exports to the U.S.
- YES. The Secretary of Labor is required to review the impact of ATPA on U.S. employment. The Department of Labor’s six reports have each consistently found that ATPA does not appear to have an adverse impact on, or have constituted a significant threat to U.S. employment.
- YES. While the U.S. is Colombia’s most important trading partner, tens of thousands of job in the U.S. are dependent on trade with Colombia. Nine states each export more than $100 million a year to Colombia. Two states - Florida and Texas – export more than $500 million to Colombia annually.