fb - voice of agriculture

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding House Approval of U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 8, 2007 – The American Farm Bureau Federation commends the House of Representatives for the bipartisan passage of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion agreement, an agreement that will finally provide reciprocal trade for America’s farmers and ranchers. Farm Bureau has consistently supported congressional approval of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement because it will result in an estimated increase in U.S. agricultural trade of $705 million per year after full implementation.

The Peru Trade Promotion Agreement will resolve current trade imbalances and break through barriers that have made it extremely difficult for U.S. agricultural products to compete in that country. U.S. agricultural exports to Peru confront an average tariff of 18 percent, while 99 percent of Peruvian agricultural products enter the U.S. facing no tariffs. As a result of this carefully negotiated agreement, all U.S. agricultural exports – meat, fiber, grains, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables – will enter Peru duty-free after full implementation of this agreement.

Further, the agreement not only provides new access to the Peruvian market for U.S. agricultural products, but it also increases U.S. agriculture’s competitiveness. Peru must import food to meet the needs of its citizens. That food is coming from countries like Chile, Argentina and Canada. Now the U.S. will have the opportunity to better compete and gain market share from those countries.

We appreciate the efforts of Chairman Rangel and other House leaders for their work to pass this agreement, but the achievement should not end here. U.S. agriculture’s support goes beyond the Peru agreement to include support of pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Members of the House of Representative must not stop here. We urge them to bring up the remaining two Latin agreements for votes as soon as possible.

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Contacts: Mace Thornton
(202) 406-3641
macet@fb.org
Anne Keller
(202) 406-3659
annek@fb.org