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RILA praises U.S.-Colombia trade deal

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has expressed its support of this week'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.

"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, VP 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, RILA said.