Peru trade agreement moving forward
The House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday voted to advance the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement that was drafted by the Bush administration and Peruvian officials last May and awaits congressional approval.
The House action follows last week's approval in the Senate Finance Committee. Neither the House nor Senate has amended the agreement, although the Senate Committee had to reject proposed amendments related to labor and intellectual property issues. Democratic leaders in May endorsed a version of the Peru trade agreement that they said could pass the House and Senate without amendments.
The final votes on the floors of the House and Senate are expected this fall.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association issued a statement praising the progress of the Peru agreements.
“We welcome this action by the Ways and Means Committee. This markup is an important first step to move the trade agenda forward, and Congress’ positive consideration of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement will demonstrate the United States’ continued commitment to liberalizing trade,” said Stephanie Lester, vice president of international trade at RILA. “We encourage Congress to act with dispatch to approve the other pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.'