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USTR Seeks Petitions to Accelerate Tariff Elimination and Modify Origin Rules under Colombia TPA

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

USTR Seeks Petitions to Accelerate Tariff Elimination and Modify Origin Rules under Colombia TPA

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is giving interested parties until May 13 to file petitions requesting accelerated tariff elimination and changes to the non-textile and non-apparel products rules of origin under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement. Article 2.3.4 of the Colombia TPA provides that the United States and Colombia may agree to accelerate the elimination of customs duties set out in their respective tariff schedules, while Section 201(b) of the U.S.-Colombia TPA Implementation Act authorizes the president to proclaim modifications in the staging of duty treatment set out in the agreement subject to the act’s consultation and layover requirements. The TPA also allows the parties to amend the agreement’s rules of origin.

According to the USTR, the U.S. and Colombia expect to take into account several factors in considering whether to make such changes, including (i) the extent that any such changes may reduce transaction and manufacturing costs or increase trade between Colombia and the U.S.; (ii) the feasibility of devising, implementing and monitoring new rules of origin; and (iii) the level and breadth of interest that manufacturers, processors, traders and consumers in the U.S. and Colombia express for making particular changes. The U.S. and Colombia expect to make only those changes that are broadly supported by stakeholders in both countries. 

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