[Excerpt] During 2001, $1.7 billion in U.S. imports from the four Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) beneficiary countries entered the United States duty-free under provisions in the ATPA; however, a significant portion of these duty-free entries (36 percent or $589 million) probably would have qualified for duty-free entry under other existing U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences. Thus, approximately 64 percent ($1.1 billion) of these duty-free entries represent the unique benefits of the ATPA to the ATPA-beneficiary nations. These unique ATPA benefits represented 11.1 percent of total U.S. imports from the ATPA beneficiary nations and 0.1 percent of total U.S. imports from all nations in 2001. Over 94 percent of the items eligible for ATPA duty-free treatment actually entered duty-free.
The main finding of this report is: Preferential tariff treatment under the ATPA does not appear to have had an adverse impact on, or have constituted a significant threat to, U.S. employment. While declines in production and possibly employment in some sectors of the cut flower industry (standard carnations, standard and pompon chrysanthemums, and roses) may have been affected to some extent by the tariff preferences granted under the ATPA program, other factors may also have contributed to these production and employment declines.