US and Peru begin FTA amendment process

USTR Susan Schwab and Peru’s Foreign Trade Minister, Mercedes Araoz.

(LIP-jl) — The United States Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) and representatives from Peru’s Foreign Trade Ministry will begin talks today which aim to develop amendments that will help obtain a universal ratification of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in both US and Peruvian Congresses.

According to information divulged by Mercedes Araoz, Peru’s Foreign Trade Minister, David Lemor -the ministry’s official representative in Washington, and the Peruvian Ambassador to the United States, Felipe Ortiz de Zevallos, will join USTR members to develop amendments to the original FTA which was previously approved by Peru’s parliamentary body.

Araoz indicated that she has sent a team of legal specialists belonging to the ministry to evaluate and translate the USTR developed texts.

Once the amendments have been drawn up, member’s from the Peruvian Congress will have the first opportunity to ratify the readjusted agreement, something which she added: "is sure to happen."

"Both governments must sign and endorse the amendments before they are submitted to a vote before the parliaments from both countries. Peru’s legislative body will be the first to vote for the modified FTA while it is expected the US Congress will vote for it before its August recess," said the minister.

No dates have been given as to when Peru’s parliamentary body will vote on the amendments, but ministry representative Lemor suggested they should be approved before next month’s Peruvian Independence Day holiday, July 28.