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Peru FTA Talks Usher In New Era In Global Trade, Say Democrats

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, New York

13 August 2007


Talks between senior Democrats in the House of Representatives and Peruvian President Alan Garcia have ushered in a new era in international trade where workers' rights should be recognised above the interests of multinational corporations, claims Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel(D - NY).

Commenting after the recent visit by Ways and Means Democrats to Peru, Rangel revealed that the discussions between President Garcia and members of his government "marked the beginning of a new way forward on international trade”.

"“During our meetings, it became clear that Americans and Peruvians share the same principle - that expanded trade must not be a race to the bottom where the basic rights of workers are ignored so that large multi-national corporations may profit," he stated.

"Previously, we were told that labor rights had no place in trade agreements, but the US-Peru FTA gives us an opportunity to make history so that international trade can truly reflect the views and needs of workers to raise standards of living worldwide. I was extremely pleased to hear President Garcia express such overwhelming support for the recent changes to the agreement and I look forward to making the US-Peru FTA a top priority for the Committee and the Congress when we return in September," Rangel added.

During the visit, the American delegation, which included Sander Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), met with representatives from government, business and labor to engage in dialogue about the opportunities and challenges presented by the FTA.

Of note was the joint press conference held on August 6, where President Garcia expressed strong support for the recent changes to incorporate key labor and environmental standards and laws into the agreement.

President Garcia referred to the FTA as an historic “New Deal” for workers and countries, marking the beginning of a great transformation in how governments should approach world trade.


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