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Weekly Trade Spotlight: Trade Relations with Peru

On Thursday, January 28, staff from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of State, and USAID, met with their counterparts in the Peruvian Government to discuss labor issues in accordance with the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. This Weekly Trade Spotlight highlights the benefits of U.S.-Peru trade for American workers and families.

One year ago this month, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (USPTPA) went into effect, immediately eliminating tariffs on more than three-quarters of American exports to Peru. As a result, American farmers are now selling home-grown American produce to Peruvian customers without having to pay tariffs at the Peruvian border. American textile makers are selling duty-free American yarns and fabrics. American suppliers can bid on equal terms for Peruvian government contracts. And that is not all. Americans in almost every economic sector have access to new job-creating trade opportunities in Peru.

The USPTPA is not just a boon to American workers and families. It is also making a difference to families in Peru. For example, the USPTPA reinforces America's and Peru's mutual commitment to a cleaner, greener environment. Today, a Boulder, Colorado company is working to build Peru's alternative energy capacity with a new wind farm that will generate power in Peru. Such efforts supports development and jobs in America and Peru alike. The USPTPA's Environment Chapter and Annex on Forest Sector Governance require Peru to effectively enforce its environmental laws and strengthen its forest sector through improved laws, regulations and other measures. Peru has already made important changes to its legal and regulatory structure, including increasing criminal penalties for illegal logging, poaching and trafficking in illegally obtained timber or wildlife species.

Even as the USPTPA increases trade opportunities for American businesses and workers within Peru, it ensures that Peruvian workers have internationally-recognized labor rights. The USPTPA requires Peru to adopt and maintain laws upholding fundamental labor rights. In their meeting on January 28, USTR officials again underscored the importance of labor protections with their Peruvian counterparts.

In 2008, $12 billion of goods were traded between the United States and Peru. American exports to Peru were up more than 50% from 2007 to 2008. With the USPTPA in place and remaining duties continuing to fall, the outlook for growth in US- Peru trade is positive.