FTAs will help US exports
The journal said a top US trade official would argue yesterday in Atlanta for completing trade agreements— including the one with Colomb...
The journal said a top US trade official would argue yesterday in Atlanta for completing trade agreements— including the one with Colombia, which was opposed last year by then-candidate Barack Obama.
The deal with Colombia had been criticized by Obama, as well as some unions, because it was seen as rewarding a government that had not done enough to curb human rights violations.
But as keynote speaker for a seminar hosted by the World Chamber of Commerce, Charles Shapiro, the state department’s top trade official, said that talks will probably lead the administration to resubmit the pact to Congress for approval due to the benefit it will have for the economy of certain states, especially now that the financial crisis is affecting every aspect of US life.
The administration will also file a separate deal with Panama, he said.
Shapiro, is keynote speaker for a seminar sponsored by the World Chamber of Commerce at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead.
Colombia and Panama now enjoy a one-sided arrangement: they tack tariffs on US goods shipped to them, yet no tariff is added to their goods arriving in the United States, he said.
“That’s the point I will make in Atlanta,” Shapiro said.
Pass the deal, and those tariffs on US goods disappear, he said.
In Georgia, paper products and farm produce — poultry, peanuts and vegetables — probably hold the greatest opportunity, he said.
“There is not a single agricultural product going to Panama duty-free,” Shapiro said.
Though Atlanta is far from any foreign borders, the state’s economic health hinges on the massive amounts of trade flowing through its airports and sea ports, he said.
Also speaking at the seminar are Steve Green, chairman of the Georgia Port Authority; state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), and Rick Martin, director of the International Trade Center at the University of Georgia.
“A very important goal for the WCC is to stimulate trade by becoming a liaison between Georgia businesses ? and countries around the world,” said chamber president Solange Warner.