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ANDEAN COUNTRIES
Trade benefits extended
Inter Press Service
12/28/2006
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Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru expressed relief upon the US Congress’ extension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), which was set to expire at the end of this year.

ATPDEA, in effect since 2002, allows products from these countries to enter the United States tariff-free in exchange for anti-drug initiatives.

According to figures from the Andean Community of Nations bloc, 76 percent of Andean products exported to the United States come from Colombia and Ecuador. The remaining 24 percent come from Bolivia and Peru.

The trade benefits were extended for six months, until June 30, 2007, which will allow the new US Congress to debate and vote on the free trade agreements that Peru, Colombia and the United States have signed.

The United States says that the extension is an incentive for Bolivia and Ecuador to sign free trade agreements with the United States. Bolivia has said that it will not sign such an agreement and Ecuadorian President-elect Rafael Correa says he will not sign a free trade pact with the United States.


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