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On 7 December 2005, Peru and the United States signed a bilateral treaty called the Trade Promotion Agreement.

The signing triggered a wave of public demonstrations in 2005. Prominent among the organizers were small farm organizations asserting that they would likely be hit the hardest by the resulting elimination of tariffs and other trade protections. The Peruvian government claimed that it would offer subsidies to reduce the agreement’s impact on small farmers, just as the United States does for its own agricultural sector. When the government failed to live up to this promise, the peasants marched in protest, demanding that the subsidies be released. In the midst of these protests, Peru ratified the FTA in June 2006.

February 2008 saw a new round of protests dubbed the “Paralización Nacional Agrícola” (National Agrarian Shutdown), in which thousands of small farmers participated. The protests, organized by the Comando Nacional Unitario de Lucha de los Campesinos Peruanos, were repressed by the authorities, leaving a total of four dead.

As part of the legislative package required by the FTA prior to its entry into force on 1 January 2009, the Peruvian executive branch – making use of the legislative powers granted by Congress – passed Legislative Decree 1015 on May 20 reducing the percentage of peasant and indigenous community members required to vote in order to sell or give concessions on their land in mountain and jungle areas.

In reaction, indigenous people from the Peruvian Amazon held several weeks of protests in August 2008 calling for the revocation of over 30 FTA-related decrees affecting their land rights. They were successful in getting the Peruvian Congress to revoke Decrees 1015 and 1073.

Also in August 2008, the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) amended Decision 486 regarding intellectual property in order to allow Peru to implement the FTA with the US. The amendment, initially rejected by Bolivia, brought CAN to the brink of dissolution.

The US-Peru FTA took effect on 1 February 2009.

last update: May 2012

Photo: Giuliano Koren / Global Giving

Peru: Date for FTA debate to be set
The draft free trade agreement with the US still lacks a date for discussion in the Peruvian Congress Constitution Committee as the text has not yet been submitted, Parliament Speaker Antero Flores said Monday.
US trade pact causes row in Peru
Ollanta Humala, frontrunner in Peru’s presidential election. Mr Humala says the deal should be put to a popular vote Peru’s decision to sign a free-trade agreement with the US has provoked a domestic political row, with critics calling for the deal to be blocked.
Peru farmers unite vs. FTA with US
Peruvian farmers are organizing a march from Cusco to Lima to protest the free trade agreement with the US, the president of Peru’s National Agrarian Confederation, Antolin Huascar, stated Thursday.
Humala demands referendum on US-Peru free trade agreement
United States and Peru signed Wednesday a bilateral free trade treaty - two years in the making - at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington.
Campesinos marchan contra TLC
"El Sr. Toledo debe irse a su casa y no firmar cosas para las que ya no tiene autoridad."
Peru president in US to sign FTA
Peru’s President Alejandro Toledo is in the United States for four days, during which he and George W Bush will be present to sign a free trade treaty in spite of considerable Peruvian demands against it.
US, Peru sign free trade agreement
The United States and Peru on Wednesday signed a free trade agreement that the US administration said will lead to increased prosperity in both countries.
Democrats urge labor clause in Peru FTA
The Bush administration should include a provision in a proposed free-trade pact with Peru that the South American country meet international labor standards, a group of congressional Democrats said on Friday.
US presses Peru on farm imports before signing deal
The United States is pressing Peru to remove technical barriers to US agricultural products concerning food safety before the two countries sign a bilateral free trade deal, a senior US lawmaker said on Monday.
Peru torn over FTA with US
Peruvians are divided Friday on the possible ratification of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with United States, because businesspeople insist on implementing it, but agricultural farmers reject it.