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American Shipper

U.S., Colombia enter trade promotion agreement

U.S., Colombia enter trade promotion agreement

   The Bush administration signed an agreement with Colombia on Wednesday to promote the elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and the South American country.

   “The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will contribute to our collaborative efforts to promote peace and enhance stability and security across the Andean region,” said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative John Veroneau in a statement.

   Upon implementation of the agreement, more than 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia will become duty-free immediately. Additionally, U.S. farm exports to Colombia such as high quality beef, cotton, wheat, soybeans and soybean products, fruits and vegetables will receive immediate duty-free treatment.

   In 2005, U.S. exports to Colombia totaled nearly $5.5 billion, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative noted. Two-way goods trade between the United States and Colombia during 2005 reached $14.3 billion.

   Many products from Colombia already enter the U.S. market duty-free under the Andean Trade Preference Act, which expires on Dec. 31. “This new agreement helps Colombia to expand its current access and lock in duty-free treatment for Colombian products,” the USTR said.

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