STATEMENT BY ACTING AGRICULTURE SECRETARY CHUCK CONNER ON HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE'S APPROVAL OF THE PERU TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENT
Oct. 31, 2007
"Today's vote by the House Ways and Means Committee is an important step toward making agricultural trade between the United States and Peru more equitable. Currently, less than 2 percent of U.S. agricultural exports enjoy duty-free access to the Peruvian market while over 99 percent of Peru's agricultural exports enter the U.S. market duty free. With this agreement, 90 percent of current U.S. farm exports will become duty-free immediately, with the remaining tariffs to be eliminated within 15 years.
"Peru is already an important market for America's farmers and ranchers, buying more than $200 million of our products last year. And, with an economy growing at close to 8 percent a year, we believe that there is more potential for continued growth.
"Congressional passage of this agreement would send an important signal that the United States is committed to free trade in this hemisphere. It is important that Congress act on the trade promotion agreements with Colombia and Panama as well."