AAPA represents 160 of the leading public port authorities in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, all of which have a public mandate to facilitate waterborne commerce and contribute to local, regional and national economic development. Last September, AAPA’s member seaports reaffirmed resolutions favouring policies which enhance rather than restrict free and open trade in the Western Hemisphere, citing free trade’s significance for economic well-being and its contributions toward employment.
“This free and fair trade agreement with Colombia is an opportunity not only to expand the movement of goods and services between the US and the second most populous country in South America, but it will also strengthen hemispheric ties and provide important economic benefits for US exporters,” said Mr. Nagle. He noted that, currently, more than 90 percent of Colombia’s exports enter the US duty free. However, American farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and workers face duties up to 35 percent when exporting their products to Colombia.
“Today, with our uncertain economy, U.S. exports are more important than ever,” remarked Mr. Nagle. “Over 40% of America’s economic growth last year was attributable to exports.” He noted that, according to the US International Trade Commission, passage of this agreement would result in approximately a US$1.1bn annual increase in US exports to Colombia due to tariff reductions.
“Ratification of this trade agreement is an important step toward achieving a Free Trade Area of the Americas,” concluded Mr. Nagle, adding that the Colombia Free Trade Agreement would put Colombia on an equal footing with Chile, Peru and other Latin American trade partners, and make improvements in areas such as dispute resolution, labour relations, transparency mechanisms and regulations to combat corruption.