Statement by Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner Regarding Congressional Approval of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement
Dec. 04, 2007
"I appreciate the Senate's overwhelming passage of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), which will allow our two countries to begin implementing and fulfilling two-way market access for our agricultural goods. U.S. agriculture has been a staunch supporter of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement because it creates new opportunities for U.S. products that currently face high tariffs to enter the Peruvian market.
"It is important for Congress to continue the process of leveling the playing field for our producers, eliminating restrictive tariffs on U.S. exports, and allowing the strengths of American agriculture to shine through by moving forward with the Colombia, Panama and Korea trade agreements.
"The Peruvian middle class is growing rapidly, and the future of U.S. agricultural growth depends on gaining access to these newly affluent demographic sectors. In fiscal year 2007, U.S. exporters sold nearly $333 million in agricultural products in Peru and our agricultural producers stand ready to provide an expanding range of high-value and consumer-ready products to this emerging market. The agreement will also help to keep U.S. bulk commodities competitive in the Peruvian market. On the first day the agreement goes into effect, 90 percent of our food and agricultural products will enter Peru duty free, greatly increasing the competitiveness of U.S. goods.
"However, U.S. agriculture is not the only beneficiary of the agreement. The Peruvian economy will gain from enhanced investment opportunities, and Peruvian agriculture will enjoy greater participation in the global marketplace. The resulting job creation in Peru's agriculture sector will support U.S. and Peruvian counter-narcotics efforts. Increased prosperity for Peru promises a stable government, a stalwart trading partner, and democratic presence in South America."