Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Peru Trade Agreement Approved

From Bloomberg:

“The agreement will boost trade between the U.S. and Peru, which totaled $8.8 billion last year, by $1.5 billion. It will open the door for more Peruvian exports of asparagus and apparel and more American meat and grain into Peru, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. It could also lure foreign investors to Peru.

It ‘will create more employment by opening up Peru for industrialists to install plants here to supply the U.S. market,’ Peruvian President Alan Garcia said in Lima today.
Proponents of free trade said the wide vote margin should set the stage for approval of three other trade accords, with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.”

From MarketWatch:

“’This agreement will level the playing field for American exporters and investors and will expand an important market in this hemisphere for U.S. goods and services, which will help strengthen economic growth and job creation in the United States,’ President Bush said in a statement following the vote.

Business lobbyists and trade groups hailed the pact, and held out hope that the framework on labor and environmental standards would pave the way for approval of pending but more controversial pacts with bigger trading partners.”

From Associated Press:

“Opponents also looked to the bigger picture, blaming past trade pacts, particularly with China and Mexico, for rising trade deficits and the loss of American manufacturing jobs. ‘One of the major reasons that the middle class in the United States is shrinking, poverty is increasing and the gap between the rich and the poor is growing wider is in fact due to our disastrous, unfettered, trade policy,’ Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, said.

The accord has strong backing from business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. It is opposed by labor and other groups who say the tougher labor and environmental standards won't be enforced and that Peruvian peasants won't be able to compete with cheaper American farm goods.”

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