Manufacturers Call for Swift Passage of Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

Agreement Will Create Jobs and Open New Markets for Manufacturers

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement today on the announced deal between the White House and the Colombia government on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement:

“This agreement is essential to job creation and our global competitiveness. Manufacturers appreciate President Obama’s and U.S. Trade Representative Kirk’s efforts to work with the Colombian government to reach mutual agreement on labor issues so that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement can be sent to Congress. We urge the Administration to move quickly so manufacturers and the U.S. economy can reap the benefits as soon as possible.    

Exports are driving the economic recovery, and the Colombia agreement is critical to meeting the President’s goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. manufacturers face an average tariff of 14 percent in Colombia. This agreement will bring that tariff to zero, reducing the major trade barrier for this growing new market.     
Manufactured goods account for 85 percent of total U.S merchandise exports to Colombia, and the large majority of those exporters are small and medium-sized manufacturers. Last year, the U.S. had a $7 billion trade surplus in manufactured goods with Colombia. This agreement will likely expand exports of U.S. goods by more than $1.1 billion.

Manufacturers stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to pass the Colombia deal as well as the pending agreements with Korea and Panama. We are concerned that it has taken nearly 28 months for the Administration to move on this agreement. We cannot continue to stand on the sidelines and lose market share and our competitive advantage.” 

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