Yesterday the NFTC released the following statement urging Congress to extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA), the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) before adjourning for the year. The NFTC noted that the bill introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (H.R. 6517) is a useful legislative vehicle to extend all four programs.
“TAA, GSP, ATPA and MTB are central to U.S. competitiveness, export growth and job creation. We strongly urge the House and Senate to put political differences aside and work together in the time remaining in this session to extend all four,” said Reinsch. “Allowing these programs to expire would put at risk U.S. export growth and jobs both here in the United States and in many of the countries with which we trade. In addition, any lapse in the preference programs could jeopardize critical trading relationships we maintain around the globe, opening the door to our competitors. A lapse in the expanded TAA provisions would remove these important benefits from service workers and others who are committed to developing the skills needed to re-enter the global workforce. We simply cannot afford to let these programs expire at the end of the year.”
“TAA provides an economic lifeline to U.S. workers who have been adversely affected by trade, and helps them acquire new skills needed for re-entry into the workforce. The preference programs aid complementary sectors of many of our trading partners’ economies. All of the programs play a critical role in our international trade policy, and are of vital importance to the thousands they serve,” said Dittrich. “The NFTC has consistently advocated for extensions of these programs, and it is with a sense of urgency, that we ask Congress to move forward with their renewal as soon as possible before adjournment.”
CALL TO ACTION: For the remainder of this week, we ask that you join in support and reach out to Members of Congress with whom you have relationships to urge them to support efforts to extend these programs.
IN THE NEWS: In a news story published by Reuters, trade reporter Doug Palmer underscores the importance of the renewing the preference programs.
U.S. Could Let Andean, Other Trade Benefits Expire
December 14, 2010
By Doug Palmer
Excerpt: Valuable U.S. trade benefits for the Andean region and about 130 other developing countries could expire, at least temporarily, at the end of year unless Congress takes action in coming days. The looming expiration creates uncertainty for foreign companies who rely on the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) and the much larger Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program for duty-free access to the United States.
Colombian officials, in particular, are worried that even a temporary expiration would add to the problems the country faces after heavy rains and flooding that drove nearly 2 million people from their homes. The government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday estimated damages from the country’s worst natural disaster could reach 10 trillion pesos, which is approximately $5.2 billion.
The Colombian flower industry is a major beneficiary of APTA, which slashes duties on imports of clothing, vegetables, plastics, aluminum products and other goods from the region to support jobs. An expiration would also hurt U.S. companies and consumers that benefit from lower-cost imports from the countries.
Link to the full text – http://www.forexyard.com/en/news/could-let-Andean-other-trade-benefits-expire-2010-12-14T230107Z-US