Statement By USTR Ron Kirk On Need To Extend Trade Programs That Support American Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — December 22, 2010 — U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk issued the following
statement on Congressional action today on three trade-related programs: the Generalized System of
Preferences (GSP), the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA):

Ambassador Kirk said, “I am disappointed that Congress adjourned without fully extending
three trade programs that support American jobs and increase U.S. competitiveness. While the
extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance and the Andean Trade Preference Act is important and will
allow these programs to continue for an additional six weeks, these programs require a long-term
extension to ensure that they operate as intended.” He continued, “The exclusion of the Generalized
System of Preferences from the package means that this important program will lapse on December 31,
hurting American consumers and businesses as well as workers and farmers in many of the world’s
poorer countries. The Obama Administration will continue to work with Congress in an effort to
secure a full, long-term reauthorization of these three essential trade programs.”


U.S. businesses and consumers benefit from the GSP program through cost savings on imports.
Also, according to a 2005 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, the program supports over 80,000 American
jobs associated with moving GSP imports from the docks to farmers, manufacturers and ultimately to
retail shelves. U.S. imports under GSP exceeded $20 billion in 2009 and are on pace to exceed $27
billion in 2010. GSP saved U.S. importers nearly $577 million in duties in 2009. The program was
instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974. In addition to its benefits to American
families, GSP is designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing
preferential duty-free entry for about 4,800 products from 131 designated beneficiary countries and

Coca, the raw material for cocaine, is grown exclusively in the Andean region of South
America. The U.S. International Trade Commission has found that the ATPA continues to have a
positive effect on drug-crop eradication and crop substitution, as well as job growth in
export-oriented industries, in the Andean region. The objectives of the ATPA, enacted in 1991, are
to promote broad-based economic development, diversification of exports, and consolidation of
democracy and to help defeat the scourge of drug trafficking by providing sustainable economic
alternatives to drug-crop production in beneficiary countries. Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are
currently receiving benefits under the program. In 2009, the United States imported about $9.7
billion in goods under the ATPA program. Colombia, which accounted for 57.5 percent of U.S. imports
under ATPA in 2009, has been a particularly staunch ally in the fight against coca production and
narcotrafficking. It is currently suffering from severe flooding. A loss of duty-free treatment
represents a further negative impact on Colombian producers of various commodities.

TAA renewal will ensure continued support for American workers, firms, and communities
impacted negatively by trade. The Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009 (TGAAA)
was signed into law by President Obama as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009. It expanded TAA coverage to more workers and firms, including those in the service sector.
The law expanded benefits to workers whose jobs have been outsourced to foreign countries, improved
workers’ training options, made health insurance premiums more affordable for them, and created new
benefits for trade-affected communities. The TGAAA also expanded the scope of the TAA programs to
better assist adversely affected workers in finding new employment. It authorized funding for
employment and case management services. Additionally, the program encouraged the type of long-term
training necessary for jobs in the 21st century economy through an extension of income support, an
increase in the cap for training funding, and access to training for adversely affected incumbent

Posted on December 28, 2010

Source: U.S. Trade Representative