Peru's Leader Defends U.S. Free-Trade Pact; Backers Fear Resistance If Democrats Gain Control in Congress
Byline: Steve Hirsch, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Peruvian President Alan Garcia yesterday offered a strong defense of a free-trade pact with the U.S., which likely would encounter resistance if Democrats win a majority in Congress in the Nov. 7 elections.
Although the agreement could be approved in the lame-duck session after the elections, trade sources said, it would face a tougher battle next year, particularly if Democrats win a House majority.
Under the pending agreement with Peru, 80 percent of consumer and industrial products and more than two-thirds of U.S. farm exports to that country would become duty-free immediately. After that, Peru would implement a gradual elimination of tariffs on U.S. exports.
U.S. trade with Peru last year totaled $7.4 billion, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
"I believe that globalization is here to stay with us and that the spread of trade around the world can help all countries," Mr. Garcia said in a speech at the Institute for International Economics.
Peruvian companies already are benefiting from trade with the United States, he said, adding that Peruvian exports to this country supported 800,000 jobs this year, and that U. …