Andean Trade Pact Update

More than 20 years after it was instituted, the Andean Trade Preference Act may be headed for the bone yard.

The ATPA, which expired on July 31, needs to be renewed by Congress. But the leaders of key committees in the House and Senate said they have no intention of moving any legislation along that would extend the 22-year-old accord.

Originally, the duty-free pact was between the United States and Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. But Peru has had a free-trade agreement with the United States since 2009, and a free-trade deal between Colombia and the United States took effect in 2012.

Bolivia was excluded from the ATPA after June 30, 2009, because it did not meet the requirements to curtail drug trafficking in the area with the United States.

And Ecuador recently said it wanted out of the agreement after it was criticized by the U.S. for offering asylum to former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

However, Ecuador can export some goods to the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences.

Ecuador’s biggest exports to the United States last year were $5.4 billion in oil, $166 million in cut flowers, and $122 million in fruits and vegetables.

The United States imported $7 million in apparel and textiles from Ecuador in 2012, down from $8 million in 2011.

In the region, Peru has the largest apparel exports to the United States, totaling $642.5 million last year, while Colombia exported $248.5 million to the United States.