[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 2006 and represents the fourteenth 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. Prior to its expiry, on December 20, 2006, the program was extended for six months and, on June 28, 2007, it was extended for an additional eight months through February 2008. Section 207 of the ATPA directs the Secretary of Labor to undertake a continuing review and analysis of the impact of these preferences on U.S. employment and submit a summary report of such analysis annually to the Congress.
During 2006, $13.5 billion in U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries entered the United States duty-free under the provisions of the APTA. This represents about 60 percent of all U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries in 2006, but just 0.7 percent of total U.S. imports from all sources. This $13.5 billion in imports includes $2.9 billion in imports that entered duty-free under the provision of the original ATPA (excluding the ATPDEA amendments) and $10.6 billion in imports that entered duty-free under the ATPDEA’s provisions for expanded product coverage. Of the $2.9 billion in imports that entered duty-free under the provision of the original ATPA (excluding the ATPDEA amendments), approximately one-third or $1 billion, could have qualified for duty-free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and were not exclusive benefits of the ATPA. All items that entered under the ATPDEA’s provisions for expanded product coverage were exclusive benefits of the ATPA. Overall, U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries that benefited exclusively from the original ATPA (on eligible products not eligible for GSP) and the ATPDEA amendments (all covered products) amounted to $12.5 billion in 2006, which represented about 56 percent of all U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries, but just 0.7 percent of total U.S. imports from all sources.
The main finding of this report is that preferential tariff treatment under the provisions of the original ATPA and the ATPDEA amendments has neither had an adverse impact on, nor posed a significant threat to, U.S. employment.