The US Congress last week approved of a package of trade provisions related to the Caribbean Basin, the Andean region, and Africa.

In total, Congress approved a one year extension for Colombia and Peru under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA), six month extensions for Bolivia and Ecuador under the ATPA, and a one year extension for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). 

The bill creates a new Earned Import Allowance Program (EIAP) for the Dominican Republic, which will provide crucial help for Dominican trouser producers and their US fabric suppliers.  

Finally, the bill makes important changes regarding third country fabric provisions in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Congressional action on the ATPA comes just three months before the program was set to expire - and should ensure continued growth in the US/Andean textile trade partnership. 

"About $250m worth of US cotton and textiles were exported to the four Andean countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru last year," said Kevin Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). 

"American jobs depend on fair, two-way trade with the Andean region and other developing nations worldwide."