Senate clears Peru free trade agreement

by Editor
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The U.S. Senate approved the U.S.-Peru free trade agreement by a vote of 77 to 18.

This is the first trade pact under a deal reached between Democrats and the White House in May requiring trade partners to follow basic labour and environmental standards.

AMI applauds USTR in negotiating the U.S.-Peru FTA and Congress in agreeing to approve the agreement.

The Peru FTA will establish immediate tariff reductions on all beef and pork products. Some products will receive unlimited duty free access upon implementation of the agreement. Tariffs on most items will be phased out within five years.

In addition to the favourable market access provisions, significant sanitary and technical issues have been resolved. The Peruvian government confirmed that it will recognise the meat inspection system of the United States as equivalent to its own meat inspection system.

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) stressed the deal's benefits for farmers. 60% of Peruvian tariffs on U.S. farm products, including most beef products, wheat and barley will be eliminated immediately. Baucus pledged to work to reauthorise and expand trade adjustment assistance in conjunction with moving forward on other trade initiatives. Bilateral agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea are not expected to come before Congress in 2007.