|May 6, 2008|
Why should Congress pass the Colombia Trade Promotion Act (CTPA)?
- It's a matter of national security. The Colombian people have chosen democracy and free enterprise as the path to a more prosperous and secure future. We should not forgo this opportunity to both help a friend and strengthen a democratic partner in the region. As President Bush said on March 4, “if we fail to approve [the CTPA], we will let down our close ally, we will damage our credibility in the region, and we will embolden the demagogues in our hemisphere.”
- Every day without the CTPA is a missed opportunity for our exporters. The CTPA levels the playing field for American businesses and workers. The average Colombia tariff on US goods is currently over 12 percent, whereas the tariff we apply on Colombian goods entering the US is only 0.1 percent; the agreement will eliminate tariffs immediately on three-fourths of U.S. exports to Colombia. U.S. exports to Colombia are estimated to increase by $1.1 billion and U.S. GDP is expected to increase by $2.5 billion.
- Colombia has made impressive gains, but needs the CTPA to consolidate this success. Colombia is a success story in the making. Since 2002, murders are down 40 percent, kidnappings are down 83 percent, and terror attacks are down by 76 percent. The CTPA will lock in these gains, and create an opportunity for sustained progress in securing peace, democracy, freedom, and reform in Colombia.
- The CTPA is a critical tool to provide jobs and opportunities to counter terrorism and the drug trade. Over 45,000 guerilla and paramilitary fighters have demobilized. Colombia needs the 270,000 licit jobs and the increased economic opportunities the CTPA will create to provide the Colombian people with alternatives to illegal activities. These new jobs and economic opportunities will help to weaken the draw of the illicit sector.
For more information, visit the State Department’s FTA webpage: http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/tpp/c22883.htm.
Updated May 2008