US Senate approves key Peru trade agreement

04 December 2007 21:47  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The Senate gave final congressional approval on Tuesday to a US-Peru free trade agreement (FTA) that is expected to boost US exports of chemicals, plastics and related products to the Latin American country.

 

The Senate approved the trade deal in an unusally favourable 77-18 vote with five senators not voting. The House approved the measure on 8 November with an equally strong bipartisan vote of 285-132.

 

President George Bush hailed the Senate action, saying congressional approval of the trade agreement “will level the playing field for American exporters and investors and will expand an important market in this hemisphere for US goods and services”.

 

Bush, who is expected to sign the trade agreement later this week, said the deal with Peru “will help strengthen economic growth and job creation in the US”.

 

The trade deal essentially will end Peruvian duties and tariffs on a wide range of US exports, including chemicals, plastics and others - such as agricultural products and consumer goods - that are key downstream consuming industries for chemicals.

 

Peruvian tariffs and duties on US exports range from 15-20% on industrial goods to 160% on agricultural products.

 

Peruvian exports to the US have long been duty-free.

 

US trade with Peru has doubled over the past three years, reaching nearly $9bn (€6.12bn) last year, according to the US Chamber of Commerce.

 

The US-Peru free trade agreement is the first of four FTAs pending before Congress to win approval.  The three other agreements awaiting congressional action are with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

 

All four deals are expected to increase US exports of chemicals, plastics and derivative products, according to the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

 

The Peru trade agreement won broad support among Democrats in Congress because under a deal between the White House and Congress in May, these four trade agreements include new provisions for worker protection and environmental safeguards on the part of the US trading partners.

 

($1 = €0.68)


By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653



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