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ATPA gets 10 month extension from House of Representatives
Feb '08
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a 10 month extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) by a voice vote.

The U.S. Senate must now approve the companion bill before the ATPA expires in less than 55 hours, on February 29, to avoid any lapse in trade benefits.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) sent key vote letters of support for ATPA to all members of Congress.

“It is good that the House has acted just in time, but the Senate still needs to follow-suit and pass this extension - the clock is running out,” said Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO, AAFA.

“The current uncertainty created by the imminent threat of expiration of the ATPA program contributes to the overall unease of the national economy.”

A win-win trade preference agreement, the ATPA stabilizes manufacturing and wholesale employment in all countries involved, while creating import opportunities that deliver a wider variety of goods at more affordable prices for all consumers.

About $250 million worth of U.S. cotton and textiles were exported to the four Andean countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru last year.

The finished products - made with these U.S. yarns, fabrics, fibers, cotton and other textile inputs - are then brought back to the U.S. duty-free under the ATPA.

The U.S. cotton, textile and apparel industries are rallying for prompt renewal of the ATPA, as well as for full implementation of the recently approved U.S./ Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) and speedy approval pending U.S./ Colombia TPA.

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