U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement today on the Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is scheduled for a vote this week in the U.S. House of Representatives. Larsen will vote for the Peru FTA when it comes to the House floor.
“The Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will open market access for Washington goods and services and increase intellectual property right protections for Washington software and technology. Under previous trade preference agreements, 90% of goods coming to United States from Peru are already duty-free. This agreement will level the playing field for Washington state products sold in Peru.
“This agreement will open markets for Washington state farms and create jobs for Washington state businesses. Because most Washington state agricultural products are not produced in Peru, this FTA will create more opportunities for our local farms. Washington state agriculture will immediately benefit from significantly reduced or eliminated tariffs under this agreement, so more Washington apples, potatoes, and other products can be sold in Peruvian markets.
“I fought hard with my Democratic colleagues to make sure that enforceable labor and environmental standards – standards with real teeth – were included in this agreement. The Peru FTA will improve working conditions and strengthen environmental protections by including the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) five core labor standards and ensuring the enforcement of multilateral environmental agreements.
“Helping those who may be negatively impacted by trade is a vital part of overall trade policy. That is why I am a longtime supporter of legislation to strengthen the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
“Last week, the House passed Trade and Globalization Act of 2007 to update the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for the 21st century economy. Our legislation gives a helping hand to displaced service sector workers, a huge and growing part of the American economy who have been excluded from Trade Adjustment Assistance in the past, and improves job training services and TAA health benefits for all displaced workers to make sure they have the tools they need to compete and thrive.”