Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Colleagues Request Focus on Mutually-Advantageous Steel and Aluminum Exemption Negotiations for Colombia

Oct 19, 2018

ROS-LEHTINEN, FLORIDA COLLEAGUES REQUEST FOCUS ON MUTUALLY-ADVANTAGEOUS STEEL AND ALUMINUM EXEMPTION NEGOTIATIONS FOR COLOMBIA

Miami, FL – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross requesting the administration expedite negotiations of additional steel and aluminum exemption agreements with U.S. allies and partners, including Colombia, to isolate the People’s Republic of China, and other bad actors. Further, the Florida legislators ask that the administration “ensure continued progress by the Duque Administration in meeting the important trade commitments made earlier this year by the previous [Colombian] administration.”

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Ross:

We support your efforts to combat the long standing problem of steel and aluminum overcapacity, which has been exacerbated by Chinese overproduction, and we agree that extraordinary measures should be considered to force the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to adhere to the international, rules-based trading system created after World War II. We appreciate your successful efforts to negotiate steel and aluminum quotas for imports from Brazil and Argentina. Therefore, we respectfully request that you expedite negotiations of additional exemption agreements with our allies and partners, both in South America and around the world, to isolate the PRC and other bad actors to fully address this global problem.

Negotiations with Colombia should be a priority. Under outgoing President Santos, Colombia pledged to cooperate on addressing a variety of deficiencies in the treatment of certain U.S. industries to strengthen the U.S.-Colombia relationship. It is essential that our government continue to work with President Iván Duque and his administration to ensure Colombian commitments are upheld. Efforts to secure mutually-beneficial trade in steel and aluminum can provide a new opportunity to facilitate and secure U.S. trade goals with our vital Colombian partners. As such, we urge you to engage in negotiations with the Colombian government on country exemptions related to steel and aluminum that include effective and enforceable controls on transshipments, and that ensure continued progress by the Duque Administration in meeting the important trade commitments made earlier this year by the previous administration.

As the PRC continues to increase its influence in the region, the United States must fortify our strategic diplomatic, military, and economic relationships throughout the world, but especially in the Western Hemisphere. Once again, we appreciate your efforts to correct global overcapacity of steel and aluminum and shore up domestic manufacturing, and we stand ready to assist you in your efforts to revitalize trading relationships with our allies to strengthen our nation’s standing both at home and abroad.

ROS-LEHTINEN Y COLEGAS DE LA FLORIDA SOLICITAN ENFOQUE EN NEGOCIACIONES MUTUAMENTE BENEFICIOSAS EN LA EXENCIÓN DE ALUMINIO Y ACERO PARA COLOMBIA

Miami, FL - Ayer, el senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) y los representantes estadounidenses Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) y Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) enviaron una carta al Representante de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, Robert Lighthizer, y al Secretario de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, Wilbur Ross, solicitándoles que la administración agilice las negociaciones en la exención de acero y aluminio con aliados y socios de EE. UU., incluyendo Colombia, para así aislar a La República Popular China y a otros actores perjudiciales. Adicionalmente, los legisladores de la Florida piden que la administración "asegure el continuo progreso por parte de la administración del Presidente Duque en el cumplimiento de los importantes compromisos comerciales asumidos a principios de este año por la administración [colombiana] anterior".

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