On January 16, 2009, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab issued a statement regarding the entry into force of the U.S. - Peru FTA on February 1, 2009. Schwab noted that "[t]his is the first free trade agreement (FTA) in force that will reflect the enhanced labor and environmental standards set out in the May 10, 2007, agreement between the Administration and the congressional leadership." The FTA is expected to support existing and prospective American jobs in the manufacturing and agriculture industries.
The United States and Peru already enjoy a two-way trade relationship of nearly $9.4 billion annually. Prior to the U.S.-Peru FTA, Peru benefited from temporary trade preferences extended under theAndean Trade Preferences Act. The implementation of the FTA will build upon these preferences and make them permanent.
The USTR states that the agreement will open up a growing market of 28 million Peruvian consumers to U.S. business interests. Specifically, Schwab noted that "[o]n the first day this agreement enters into force, 80 percent of U.S. industrial and consumer products and more than two-thirds of current U.S. farm exports will enter Peru duty-free."
The majority of U.S. exports that will receive the duty-free treatment are technology products; mining, agricultural, and construction equipment; and agricultural products (i.e. wheat, beef, fruits and vegetables), and other processed foods.