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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Friday, January 16, 2009
Statement by Secretary Gutierrez on the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation
WASHINGTON—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today made the following statement regarding the implementation of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion agreement:
“The implementation of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion agreement marks a historic step in strengthening America’s friendship with an ally and expanding our mutually beneficial commercial relationships with good neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. Once the Colombia and Panama free trade agreements are approved, the United States will have Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in place with two-thirds of the Western Hemisphere’s population.
“Free trade agreements are critical to lowering barriers to American exports and creating better-paying American jobs. FTAs provide American businesses with an opportunity to compete and win in a very competitive global economy. With the 14 countries with which FTAs were in effect throughout 2008—11 of which were put in place by the Bush Administration—the United States realized a trade surplus in manufactured goods of $15.6 billion through November 2008.
“I am proud of the Bush Administration’s international trade record. Eight years ago, we had free trade agreements with three countries and with the implementation of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement we now have FTAs with 17. I encourage the 111th Congress to pass the three pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and give America’s economy a much needed boost in 2009.”
Bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) are one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to U.S. exporters. Today the United States has implemented FTAs with 17 countries. FTAs were in effect with 14 countries in 2008 and since December 2008, FTAs have been implemented with Costa Rica, Oman and Peru. In 2007, trade with countries with which the United States has FTAs was significantly greater than their relative share of the global economy. Although comprising 8.9 percent of global GDP, not including the United States, those FTA countries accounted for 41 percent of U.S. exports in 2007.
Year to date through November 2008, Peru has risen to become the 35th largest market for U.S. good exports, with exports rising 55 percent (to $5.8 billion) from the same period of 2007. With this increase in merchandise exports, the U.S. has moved from having a $1.1 billion deficit with Peru through November 2007, to a $255 million surplus through November 2008.
The FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea would level the playing field for U.S. workers, businesses and agriculture. The FTAs will give U.S. businesses duty-free access to growing markets with a combined population of approximately 100 million consumers and GDP of $1.2 trillion.