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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

Andean Community approves reform without Bolivia - Peru-US free trade deal to move forward
Peru’s minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Mercedes Aráoz, announced on Thursday that the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) approved to modify the norm regarding intellectual property, which will allow Peru to implement the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.
Peru: Four dead after government crackdown on protests against US trade deal
A two-day national agrarian strike against a pending Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States ended on Wednesday February 20th, leaving four farmers dead after President Alan Garcia declared a state of emergency and ordered a violent crackdown.
Peru declares state of emergency on farm protests
Peru’s government declared a state of emergency after a farmers’ protest left at least four dead and more than 700 under arrest. Farmers called the nationwide protest to push for state subsidies as part of a free-trade agreement with the US, for lower prices for fertilizers and for a halt to farm seizures by banks. "The government has lost all credibility,’’ protest organisers said.
Striking farmers shut access to Peru’s Machu Picchu
Peruvian farmers upset over a free trade deal with the United States blocked rail service to the famous Inca ruins at Machu Picchu on Monday and paralyzed vast swaths of the Andean country by halting traffic on key highways.
Peru: Free trade deal an Andean tragedy
Hypocritical euphemisms belie the real intent of PeruFTA, which is to strike a blow against the growing movement toward the creation of a regional trading block in Latin America.
IDB to support Peru in implementing FTA with US
The President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, announced that the Bank will assist the government of Peru in launching the free trade agreement (FTA) signed with the United States in Washington, DC.
Peru-US free trade agreement to enter into force in 2009
The US-Peru free trade agreement is to enter into force January 1, 2009, said Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Mercedes Aráoz. The Minister explained, "Obviously we want to move faster but there is a lot of work we have to do with the US government to make things compatible."
Peru free trade agreement is disaster for farmers everywhere
The same international grain traders who dumped below-cost grain into Mexico after NAFTA, driving over a million farmers off the land and fueling illegal migration into the United States, will now do the same in Peru.
Short end of stick for Peru farmers
The Peruvian government’s happiness was contrasted today by the solemnity of agrarian producers after the ratification of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement by the US Senate.
Senate approves Peru trade deal
The US Senate gave overwhelming final approval Tuesday to a trade agreement with Peru, as most Democrats joined nearly all Republicans in handing President Bush an unusual victory