“Congress makes the following findings:
Since the Andean Trade Preference Act [19 U.S.C. 3201
et seq.] was enacted in 1991, it has had a positive impact on United States trade with Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Two-way trade has doubled, with the United States serving as the leading source of imports and leading export market for each of the Andean beneficiary countries. This has resulted in increased jobs and expanded export opportunities in both the United States and the Andean region.
The Andean Trade Preference Act has been a key element in the United States counternarcotics strategy in the Andean region, promoting export diversification and broad-based economic development that provides sustainable economic alternatives to drug-crop production, strengthening the legitimate economies of Andean countries and creating viable alternatives to illicit trade in coca.
Notwithstanding the success of the Andean Trade Preference Act, the Andean region remains threatened by political and economic instability and fragility, vulnerable to the consequences of the drug war and fierce global competition for its legitimate trade.
The continuing instability in the Andean region poses a threat to the security interests of the United States and the world. This problem has been partially addressed through foreign aid, such as Plan Colombia, enacted by Congress in 2000. However, foreign aid alone is not sufficient. Enhancement of legitimate trade with the United States provides an alternative means for reviving and stabilizing the economies in the Andean region.
The Andean Trade Preference Act constitutes a tangible commitment by the United States to the promotion of prosperity, stability, and democracy in the beneficiary countries.
Renewal and enhancement of the Andean Trade Preference Act will bolster the confidence of domestic private enterprise and foreign investors in the economic prospects of the region, ensuring that legitimate private enterprise can be the engine of economic development and political stability in the region.
Each of the Andean beneficiary countries is committed to conclude negotiation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas by the year 2005, as a means of enhancing the economic security of the region.
Temporarily enhancing trade benefits for Andean beneficiary countries will promote the growth of free enterprise and economic opportunity in these countries and serve the security interests of the United States, the region, and the world.”