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NFTC Commends House for Approving GSP & ATPA Extensions, Urges Senate to Follow Suit
Date: 12/14/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today praised members of the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) for one year. The NFTC released the following statement:

"We applaud members of the House for approving a one-year extension of GSP and ATPA and urge the Senate to approve the one-year extension as soon as possible before adjourning for the year," said NFTC Vice President for Regional Trade Initiatives Chuck Dittrich. "These programs provide a number of developing countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market, help ensure stability to both U.S. and recipient country enterprises, and ease the flow of commerce. This extension allows Congress to take up a comprehensive review and reform of U.S. trade preference programs in the new year."

The president's June 30, 2009 report to Congress on Ecuador's ATPA eligibility noted several issues of serious concern, as does the U.S. Department of State's 2009 Investment Climate Statements with respect to Ecuador. The NFTC has joined the business community in urging Congress and the Administration to exercise continued and heightened attention to the troubling course upon which Ecuador has embarked, and to use the review process contained in the ATPA to encourage its return to compliance with the accepted rules of the world trading system.

"We appreciate Congressional efforts to approve this extension before the programs expire at the end of the month," said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. "It is our hope that the U.S. trade agenda will be front and center in 2010, and that in addition to preference reform, Congress will approve the three pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, to help level the playing field for U.S. exporters."

"The link between job creation, expanding market access and removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade is real. As Congress and the Administration increasingly shift their attention to job creation, we encourage them to remember the important role trade can play in boosting the U.S. economy through exports," said Dittrich.

The NFTC today joined other leading business community groups in sending a letter to all members of Congress today urging them to support the one-year extension of both GSP and ATPA. NFTC President Bill Reinsch recently delivered testimony before the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee outlining the organization's position on modernizing the nation's system of trade preferences.

About the NFTC

Advancing Global Commerce for Over 95 Years - The National Foreign Trade Council is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.