[Excerpt] The submission of this report to the Congress continues a series of reports by the U.S. Department of Labor on the impact of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) on U.S. employment. The current report covers calendar year 2004 and represents the twelfth in the series.
The ATPA, enacted on December 4, 1991, authorized the President to proclaim duty-free treatment for eligible articles from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The ATPA expired on December 4, 2001, but was subsequently expanded in product coverage and renewed to December 31, 2006 by the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) that was signed into law by the President on August 6, 2002. Section 207 of the ATPA directs the Secretary of Labor to undertake a continuing review and analysis of the impact of the agreement on U.S. employment and submit a summary report of such analysis annually to the Congress.
During 2004, $1.8 billion in U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries entered the United States duty-free under provisions in the ATPA; however, a significant portion of these duty-free entries (about 42 percent) probably would have qualified for duty-free entry under other existing U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences. In addition, $6.5 billion in U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries benefited exclusively from the ATPDEA and entered the United States duty-free under its provisions for expanded product coverage. ATPA duty-free benefits in 2004 represented 12 percent of total U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries and only 0.1 percent of total U.S. imports from all nations. ATPDEA duty-free benefits in 2004 accounted for 42 percent of total U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries, but only 0.4 percent of total U.S. imports from all sources. Overall, U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries that benefited exclusively from the ATPA (on eligible products not eligible for GSP) and the ATPDEA (all covered products) amounted to $7.6 billion in 2004, which represented about 49 percent of all U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries, but just 0.5 percent of total U.S. imports from all sources.
The main finding of this report is that preferential tariff treatment under the ATPA/ATPDEA has neither had an adverse impact on nor posed a significant threat to U.S. employment.