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2007-1

National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Resolution Calls on U.S. Congress to Support Pending United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

State Representative Juan C. Zapata (FL) Sponsor

WHEREAS, The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will provide duty-free access to markets providing immediate elimination of duties on 53 percent of current U.S trade, and

WHEREAS, the comprehensive free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia will eliminate tariffs and barriers to good and services, while promoting economic growth and stability to the country of Colombia, and

WHEREAS, Colombia is the longest standing democracy in South America and it is the strongest ally to the United States in the region.

WHEREAS, The total trade for 2006 between the United States and Colombia was estimated at $14.7 billion with imports accounting for $8.7 billion and exports at $6.04 billion, and

WHEREAS, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement levels the playing field and enhances competition, moving the United States-Colombia commercial relationship beyond a one-way preference to full partnership and reciprocal commitments, and

WHEREAS, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement commits parties to effectively enforce their own domestic environmental laws and adopt, maintain, and implement laws, regulations, and all other measures to fulfill obligations under covered multilateral environmental agreements, and

WHEREAS, the security situation has improved in Colombia significantly since 2000, with kidnappings down by 76 percent, terror attacks down by 61 percent, and homicides down by 40 percent, and

WHEREAS, Colombia has proven itself worthy of America's support. In recent years, Colombia's democratically-elected President has take courageous steps to stop drug traffickers, rein in paramilitary groups, and enforce the law, and

WHEREAS, President Uribe has allowed the International Labor Organization to station a permanent representative in Bogotá. He has also worked to offer Colombians better alternatives to a life of violence and drugs, including the new jobs and economic opportunities that would come from a trade agreement with the US, and

WHEREAS, approval of the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will ensure that Colombia continues to make progress in reducing violence while improving economic stability,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE NATIONAL HISPANIC CAUCUS OF STATE LEGISLATORS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ASSEMBLED IN MIAMI, FLORDIA, ON THIS 17TH DAY OF NOVEMBER 2007 that NHCSL does hereby recognize, support and promote that passage of the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement by the United States Congress.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL will recognize, support, promote the efforts to urge members of the United States Congress to agenda the legislation and seek passage.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL will recognize, support, promote the efforts of State Legislatures to urge their state’s Congressional delegation to support the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

This resolution was adopted on November 17, 2007, at the NHCSL Annual Executive Committee Meeting held during the NHCSL 5th National Summit in Miami, Florida.

State Representative Juan C. Zapata (FL) Sponsor

Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz, (NY)
NHCSL President