Peru’s Trade Minister: ATPDEA extension not such a bad idea after all

Peruvian Foreign Trade Minister Mercedes Araoz (center) accompanied by Peruvian Trade Representative to the U.S. David Lemur (left) and Peruvian congressman Carlos Bruce (right).
© La Republica

(LIP-jl) — Just last week, Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Mercedes Araoz commented that the U.S. proposed 2 year extension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) would not be a benefit to Peru’s efforts in the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S.

It now appears that Araoz has had a sudden change of opinion as she deemed the possible extension as "positive."

Accompanied by Peru’s Foreign Trade representative in Washington David Lemor, Aroaz specified two important points in her reevaluation of the ATPDEA extension proposed by U.S. Democrats.

According to Araoz’s first point, if the FTA is approved before June 30, the extension will allow Peru to implement the trade agreement without losing any of the trade benefits contained in the ATPDEA.

Secondly, if the FTA is not ratified by the U.S. before June 30, then Peru could face the possibility of being without either trade agreement (FTA or APTDEA) which would certainly cause a negative effect on the country’s growing economy.

"Getting the extension done now would be better than attempting to do in November, which would be a difficult thing to achieve since it would be right in the middle of the U.S. presidential campaign," indicated Lemor.

Meanwhile, Lemor informed that he expects U.S. Congress and the United States Trade Representative’s office to strike an agreement by the second or third week of April regarding what measures Peru should adopt to ease the ratification.

Lemor commented the list of demands by U.S. Democrats is long but "negotiable," giving him confidence that the FTA can be ratified before June 30.