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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

Debate begins on US-Peru free trade agreement
The US Senate began debate on Monday on a free trade agreement with Peru the Bush administration hopes will be its first legislative trade victory since Democrats took control of Congress in January.
Church World Service urging citizen action on Peru Free Trade Agreement
As a result of the Nov. 8 House of Representatives passage of a trade agreement that would harm resource-poor Peruvians, humanitarian agency Church World Service is urging people to Contact their Senators and ask them to oppose the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement (Peru FTA).
Be careful what you wish for: Peru gets its free trade agreement with the United States
Peruvian society, and what is worse, most politicians in the Andean countries, do not seem to have adequately grasped the reach of FTAs with the United States, and tend to evaluate them in purely commercial terms.
Teaching leaders oppose Peru-US FTA
Peru-US Free Trade Agreement, ratified by the US House of Representatives, is a mechanism of subjugation, the leader of Peruvian teaching Luis Munoz affirmed Thursday.
Workers union in Peru rejects free trade agreement with the US
One of Peru’s strongest workers unions, the General Workers Confederation of Peru (CGTP) announced today that it did not agree with the approval of the US-Peru free-trade pact passed by the US House of Representatives today.
House passes trade pact with Peru
In a rare victory for President Bush since Democrats took control of Congress, the US House of Representatives approved a trade agreement with Peru today in a vote that exposed a rift within the Democratic ranks over the issue.
AMTAC opposes Peru FTA
The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) announced its opposition to the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Peru.
Peru free-trade agreement backed by US House panel
The House Ways and Means Committee approved a free-trade agreement between the US and Peru, clearing the way for the accord to be considered by the entire House next week after months of delay.
Peru trade pact clears major hurdle in Congress
A key US House of Representatives committee gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a free trade pact with Peru hailed by senior Democrats as the first installment of a new trade policy.
Senate panel gives initial okay to Peru trade deal
The US Senate Finance Committee approved on Friday a draft of a free trade agreement with Peru. Sen. Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat and critic of most trade deals, urged colleagues to support the agreement as a bulwark against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an ardent foe of the United States.