Washington, D.C. – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today commended the Senate Finance Committee for scheduling a September 11 hearing to consider the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA). The Peru agreement is one of four pending free trade agreements (FTA) currently awaiting Congressional approval, with the others being Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
“We thank Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Grassley for their leadership in making the Peru trade agreement a priority for the Senate so soon after the August recess,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “Timely consideration and approval of the PTPA is important to send a signal to our trading partners in Peru and the rest of Latin America that we value our commercial relationship with the region.”
Two-way trade between the United States and Peru reached $7.4 billion during 2005, with $2.3 billion of this coming from U.S. exports. The PTPA will allow for continued and increased market access for U.S. goods such as machinery, electronics, plastics and agricultural products, among others.
“This agreement is well crafted and is commercially important to both the U.S. and Peruvian business communities,” said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President for Trade and Export Finance. “The announcement of next week’s hearing sets the stage for the start of the formal Congressional review process and helps pave the way for approval of this agreement.”
The proposed agreement would eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade between the U.S. and Peru. Under the PTPA, 80% of consumer and industrial goods and more than two thirds of U.S. agricultural exports will become duty-free immediately upon implementation of the agreement. The majority of remaining tariffs on U.S. farm exports would be gradually phased out over 15 years, with all to be eliminated in 17 years. The text of the agreement was modified in recent months to include robust chapters on labor and the environment, following the bipartisan agreement on trade reached between Congress and the Administration in early May.
“We urge the House to follow suit and begin scheduling hearings on the Peru agreement, as well as work with the Senate to consider and approve the other three pending trade agreements as soon as possible during this legislative session,” concluded Reinsch.
Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.