The Andean Trade Preference Act: A Comparison of House and Senate Versions of H.R. 3009

In 1991, the 102nd Congress passed the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), which provided for preferential treatment of selected U.S. imports from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru as part of an incentive system to encourage legal trade as an alternative to illicit drug production. ATPA expired in December 2001 and reauthorization legislation is being considered in the 107th Congress. This report compares two versions of H.R. 3009 , the House-passed Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act and the Andean Trade Preference Expansion Act , which was passed by the Senate as Title XXXI of the Trade Act of 2002. The Senate action was controversial because it adopted the ATPA provisions by agreeing to S.Amdt. 3401 , a substitute amendment for H.R. 3009 , which also included a broader trade legislation package covering trade promotion authority (TPA), trade adjustment assistance (TAA), and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), among others. On June 26, 2002, following a heated debate, the House voted 216 to 215 to agree to the Senate amendment with an amendment incorporating House versions of the broader provisions added in the Senate, and requested a conference. Although broadly similar, Andean trade provisions of the two bills differ in how they would amend ATPA. Proposed changes in tariff treatment address eight categories of goods that were excepted from preferential treatment under the original act. To summarize: 1) duty-free treatment is extended to carefully defined groups of apparel articles in both bills; 2) footwear (not eligible under the GSP preferences) is given duty-free treatment under the House and equal treatment under the Senate, but with a few specific exceptions; 3) tuna shipped in airtight containers would enter duty free under the House, but the amount would be capped under the Senate; 4) petroleum products would enter duty free under both bills; 5) watches that do not include material from HTS column two countries would enter duty free under both bills; 6) selected leather goods would enter duty free under the House and given reduced-duty treatment under the Senate; 7) sugars, syrups, and sugar products would be excepted from preferential treatment under both bills; and 8) rum and tafia would enter duty-free under the Senate bill, but would be excepted from duty-free treatment under the House bill. With the House passage of H.Res 450, the rule sending the ATPA reauthorization legislation to conference, new language affecting textile provisions was included. It changed the House bill to clarify that all ATPA apparel imports using U.S. fabric should have the dyeing and finishing of all such fabric done in the United States. At issue for the textile debate is that caps on U.S. imports of ATPA apparel articles using regional fabrics may exceed total exports from the region, making the provision requiring "dyeing and finishing" of U.S. fabric inoperative. For a detailed side-by-side comparison of the Trade Promotion Authority bills, see: CRS Report RL31445(pdf) , Trade Promotion (Fast-Track)Authority: A Comparison of Bills Approved by the House (H.R. 3005) and the Senate (Title XXI of H.R. 3009), by Lenore Sek and William H. Cooper.