Peru's Congress widely approved the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement this week. Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo signed the legislative resolution, leaving the final approval in U.S. Congress' hands.
Toledo plans to fly to Washington on July 7th to promote the agreement to American legislators.
The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing today (Thursday) on the measure. The House Ways and Means Committee is planning a hearing July 12 on the accord.
The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates U.S. agriculture exports to exceed $705 million per year after full implementation of the agreement, with gains spread among all sectors of U.S. agriculture. AFBF also states the agreement provides U.S. farmers and ranchers the same duty free access to the Peruvian market as Peru has had to the U.S. for many years under the Andean Trade Preference Act.
"Peru's passage of TPA is a substantial victory and reflects the country's strong commitment to democracy, rule of law and free markets," states AFBF President Bob Stallman. "Farm Bureau is optimistic this will help us with our efforts for congressional approval of the agreement at home."
Also this week President Bush forwarded the proposed U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement to Congress. There are strong indications that Congressional leaders will approve it this summer.
Within days of receiving the measure, the Senate Finance Committee endorsed the accord and sent the measure to the full chamber for a vote on Thursday.