Four days before President Barack Obama entered the White House, the United States and Peru finalized the pending Trade Promotion Agreement, making it the last trade policy move by the Bush administration. IDFA supports the agreement, which will eliminate current tariffs and quotas that have restricted trade growth for American dairy products in Peru.
Originally authorized by Congress in December 2007, this trade pact had been in limbo for the past year amid concerns about Peru meeting more stringent labor and environmental requirements. The agreement was finally signed into effect after Peru's Congress granted its government temporary power to bring regulatory standards in line with the U.S. mandates.
Like its Latin American counterparts, Peru has been a rapidly growing export market for the U.S. dairy industry. American dairy exports to Peru have increased significantly over the past few years, increasing from only $6 million in 2005 to an estimated $20 million in 2008.
This final trade push by the Bush administration is especially important at a time when global commerce is sluggish due to the global economic crisis. IDFA expects the agreement to promote economic growth between the United States and Peru and expand trade significantly.
"The United States has become a serious player in the global trade for dairy products, and decreasing foreign trade barriers is the key to increasing our exports," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "Our dairy exports are now poised to grow even more under this agreement."
Once the agreement is implemented on February 1, U.S. exports of whey and lactose will be allowed to enter Peru duty-free and quota-free. In addition, Peru will significantly lower barriers for U.S. cheese, ice cream and processed dairy products.
Other trade agreements pending congressional approval are Colombia, Panama and South Korea. With trade seen as a lower priority for the new Obama administration, authorization for any of these agreements is unlikely in the near future.
For more information, contact Katie Sparrow, IDFA manager of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-220-3507.