Letter Supporting H.R. 3688, The "United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act"
November 6, 2007
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region, strongly supports H.R. 3688, the "United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act," which is expected to be voted on by the full House on Wednesday, November 7. This bill will bring tangible commercial benefits to American workers, farmers, and companies while also advancing the foreign policy interests of the United States.
U.S. trade with Peru has doubled over the past three years, reaching $8.8 billion in 2006. More than 5,000 U.S. companies export their products to Peru, and over 80% of these are small and medium-sized companies that stand to benefit significantly from U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA).
Best of all, this agreement will provide a level playing field for American workers and farmers, ensuring that the United States gets the full benefit of trade with this dynamic market. Beginning in the early 1990s, the United States unilaterally opened its market to Peru, and nearly everything imported from Peru enters the U.S. market duty free. However, when Americans sell their goods to Peru, they face average tariffs of 11% for manufactured goods and 16% for agricultural goods. PTPA will correct this unfair trade imbalance by eliminating nearly all tariffs on U.S. exports to Peru within a few years. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates this agreement will add $1.1 billion to U.S. exports and $2.1 billion to U.S. GDP.
But the case for PTPA goes beyond business—and beyond trade. As recently as the 1980s, Peru was wracked by insurgency, violence, and hyperinflation. Today, Peru is a solid democracy making real headway in its struggle against poverty thanks to open trade and robust economic growth. Passing this agreement will help Peruvians build on the progress of recent years. With the incorporation of provisions of the May 10 trade deal, PTPA also represents an important step forward in restoring the bipartisan consensus on international trade.
For these reasons, the Chamber strongly urges you to support H.R. 3688. The Chamber will use votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten