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Peru torn over FTA with US

Peru Torn over FTA with US

Lima, Mar 24 2006 (Prensa Latina) 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.

Ten Peruvian civil organizations have prepared a campaign entitled "No FTA," through which they collected the necessary signatures obliging the legislature to vote on a bill and submit the accord to popular referendum.

There is also great pressure for the government to publish the agreement’s complete text, because opposition claims it was hastily negotiated without a technical analysis on its agricultural effect.

President Alejandro Toledo has bowed to the FTA, but not said when the accord’s chapters referrring to agriculture will be made known.

However, some private sectors want the deadline for signing FTA to be July 15, said Luis Vega, president of Exports Association, explaining "If such terms are not fulfilled, nearly 500,000 jobs would be in danger, affecting 2 million people."