December 04, 2007

CRAPO SUPPORTS PERU TRADE AGREEMENT

Washington, DC - The benefits to U.S. small businesses, including U.S. agriculture, are good reasons to support a new free trade agreement with Peru, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. H.R. 3688, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, was approved by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 77 to 18. Crapo voted in favor of the measure.

Having just returned from a diplomatic trip to several Central and South American nations, Crapo noted the trade opportunities beyond our borders. Most products from Peru enter U.S. duty-free, and this agreement would provide reciprocal treatment for U.S. exports. The increased market access for a number of agriculture products including dried peas, lentils, dried beans, beef, barley, dairy products and the careful accommodation of sugar concerns provided in this agreement is of particular importance to Idaho communities. In 2006, the U.S. exported nearly $3 billion worth of goods to Peru in trade.

"This agreement demonstrates substantial progress in market access for U.S. products," said Crapo, a member of both the Senate Finance and Agriculture Committees. "This is an essential trade tenant of our nation's efforts to ensure U.S. industries' global competitiveness, and grow our influence with an important trade partner and policy-maker in South America."

The trade agreement with Peru has the support of several state and national commerce groups, including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Potato Council. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to implement the agreement on November 8, 2007. The measure now goes to President Bush, who has indicated he will sign it into law.