[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 2005 and represents the thirteenth 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 Act on U.S. employment and submit a summary report of such analysis annually to the Congress.
During 2005, $2.1 billion in U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries entered the United States duty-free under provisions in the original ATPA (excluding the ATPDEA amendments). A significant portion of these ATPA duty-free entries (about 41 percent or $859 million) could have qualified for duty-free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences, while the remaining $1.25 billion entered duty-free solely as the result of ATPA preferences. In addition, $9.4 billion in U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries benefited exclusively from the ATPDEA amendments and entered the United States duty-free under its provisions for expanded product coverage. 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 $10.6 billion in 2005, which represented about 53 percent of all U.S. imports from the beneficiary countries, but just 0.6 percent of total U.S. imports from all sources.
The main finding of this report is that preferential tariff treatment under t e ATPA has neither had an adverse impact on nor posed a significant threat to U.S. employment.