Maloney on Peru Free Trade Agreement
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
This agreement represents a new direction for trade agreements.
This agreement will provide greater market access for and remove tariffs on American goods with a country that already enjoys the export of a number of goods to the United States duty-free.
Working off the historic agreement negotiated by Democrats in May of this year, this agreement has been negotiated to include critical labor and environmental provisions and will help ensure the economic and national security of the region.
It was the lack of these environmental and labor standards that led me to vote against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Among the labor standards negotiated in this agreement are worker rights and protections for which we have fought these many years.
As a result of the May 10 agreement negotiated by House Democrats, the labor chapter of the Peru FTA includes a fully enforceable commitment that countries adopt and enforce the five basic international labor standards.
In addition, this agreement also includes commitments to enforce a sixth set of rights – those pertaining to acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work and occupational safety and health.
This agreement includes critical new environmental provisions.
It requires Peru to adopt, maintain, and enforce obligations under seven common multilateral environmental agreements; specify numerous concrete steps that Peru must take to curb illegal logging and impose a clear schedule for doing so; and it gives the United States an unprecedented set of enforcement tools to ensure that Peru meets its environmental commitments.
These provisions are a far cry from the “enforce your own laws” of NAFTA and CAFTA.
Beyond the labor and environmental standards negotiated in this agreement, I believe this agreement is a vital instrument towards economic and political security.
Having a strong and stable ally in Latin America will allow aid the United States in our continued battle against narcotic trafficking.
Again, I support this agreement and I urge its passage.