ARLINGTON, Va., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement today praising yesterday's announcement by President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will enter into force on May 15, 2012.
"RILA and our members are delighted to see that the benefits of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will finally be realized next month. We applaud President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for their work to implement this long-anticipated trade promotion agreement," said Stephanie Lester, vice president of international trade.
"The Colombia FTA will benefit retailers by bringing certainty and stability to the trade relationship between the United States and Colombia," Lester concluded.
Colombia already has duty-free access to the United States for most goods under unilateral U.S. trade preference programs, although those programs have been plagued with uncertainty caused by expirations and short-term extensions. When implemented on May 15, the Colombia FTA will provide certainty for U.S. importers and also eliminate most of the duties Colombia now imposes on American exports of agricultural and manufactured goods. Obama and Kirk were in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas. The announcement comes after each country confirmed completion of its applicable legal requirements and procedures for the Agreement's entry into force.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of America jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association