Legislation would add Paraguay to ATPA
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere subcommittee, introduced legislation on Wednesday to add Paraguay to the Andean Trade Preference Act.
Since 1991, ATPA has created U.S. trade-based economic benefits for the Andean countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Paraguay is the second-poorest country in South America. 'Paraguay's inclusion as an Andean Trade Preference Act beneficiary country would allow the country to create well-needed jobs and reduce poverty,' Engel said in a statement.
According to Engel, 33 percent of Paraguayans live in poverty and 13 percent in extreme poverty. The 2008 World Development Indicators noted that 14 percent of Paraguayans live on less than $1 per day.
Co-sponsors of Engel's bill — the U.S.-Paraguay Partnership Act of 2009 — include Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind.; Howard Berman, D-Calif.; and Robert Wexler, D-Fla. In addition, Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are introducing companion legislation in the Senate.