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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 to Cast Decisive FTA Vote
The Peruvian congress is defining this week whether it ratifies or rejects the current controversial Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, signed by both nations in April but still without legislative approval.
Peru’s Alan Garcia to revise free trade deal with the US
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Peruvians striking against FTA
Peruvian grassroots organizations are beginning Thursday a strike against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US to avoid its ratification by Congress.
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Peru strikes against US FTA
Peruvian farmer, union and student organizations announced Friday a strike as of June 8 for an indefinite period against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with United States, to avoid its ratification in the Congress.
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US ag groups mount support for Peru TPA
The Agricultural Coalition for US-Peru Trade, comprised of 58 agricultural organizations, sent a letter last week to every member of US Congress urging support of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. The letter states that "PTPA sets a new and higher standard for future free trade agreements."
US-Peru free trade deal a step back for development
International aid organization Oxfam criticized today’s signing of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Washington, an agreement it says would do more harm than good for millions of Peruvians who live in poverty.
Tell Congress: oppose the US-Peru free trade agreement!
Oxfam has set up a web page where you can send letters to US Congress urging them to reject the US-Peru FTA, signed last week.