Andean Community lobbies for extension of ATPDEA with USA

(LIP-wb) — The Community of Andean Nations (CAN) will initiate a diplomatic offensive next week in Washington, with the purpose of obtaining an extension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), which is set to expire on December 31st, 2006.

This was announced by the general secretariat of CAN with seat in Lima.

CAN’s Secretary General Alfredo Fuentes Hernandez is scheduled to travel to the United States on December 4th and 5th, representing the interests of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru before American legislators.

Fuentes is expected to meet with Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Commission of Finances, and Bill Thomas, chairman of the Ways and Means Commission of Congress, and will deliver letters from the foreign ministers of the four countries.

The Andean Community is seeking a two year extension, and the letters are emphasizing the positive effects ATPDEA has had on the nations economies.

ATPDEA provides tariff preferences between the United States and the Andean countries who cooperate in the war against drugs.

Earlier this week the Peruvian government put on hold efforts pressing for the ratification of the Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) by U.S. Congress this year.