13 October 2011 - The US Congress just passed three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea which had been stuck in the legislative process for years. The duty-free access offered to Colombian apparel will also be extended until 2013. Colombian apparel exports to the US were severely hit after US Congress earlier failed extending the preferential treatment.
6 August 2009 - US apparel imports under duty-free access are more sharply falling this year, reflecting the stronger competition from China after quotas were eliminated. After resisting for years, duty-free imports from Central America are retreating while shipments from QIZs in the Middle East or from sub-Saharan Africa are also negatively affected.
8 October 2008 - A new bill was passed by the US Congress in the last week extending for one additional year the duty free access offered to apparel from Colombia and Peru. The Dominican Republic also got the right to use Asian fabrics in duty-free apparel exports to the United States. In addition, Asian denim is again accepted in duty-free apparel imports from Sub-saharan Africa while Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia are now allowed using Asian fabrics under the "third-country fabric" provision.
28 February 2008 - The US Congress is approving a 10-month extension of the duty-free programme on apparel imports from Colombia and Peru. This is the third last-minute extension of the program in only two years. Such an uncertainty finally resulted in lower exports from both countries to the US market with Peru much less affected than Colombia, however.
14 November 2007 - Colombia and Peru will need a new extension by the U.S. Congress of duty-free program ATPDEA before the end of February 2008. A delay in approval and implementation of free-trade pacts signed with Washington is again adding uncertainty to apparel sourcing from the two countries. While agreement with Peru will have got Congressional support by early December, Colombia is facing strong U.S. opposition to a free-trade deal, including from Senator Clinton.
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