USTR Seeks Comments on Eligibility for Andean Trade Benefits

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Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On August 15, 2002, an interagency committee chaired by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative requested comments on whether four Andean countries meet eligibility criteria under the new Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act. The Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) was passed as part of an omnibus bill to renew the president?s authority to negotiate unamenable trade agreements. The interagency Trade Policy Staff committee will consider comments received in developing recommendations for the president on country eligibility, according to the Federal Register notice. Enhanced trade benefits under the ATPDEA include previously excluded items such as apparel and textiles and tuna. New eligibility criteria include the extent to which the country: has met counternarcotics certification criteria established in the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act; has taken steps to support U.S. efforts against terrorism; and applies transport, nondiscriminatory, and competitive procedures in U.S. government procurement. Additionally, the U.S. President must take into account in determining eligibility include whether or not the country is taking steps to afford workers internationally recognized worker rights.