Peru-U.S. NAFTA Expansion: Overview

The Peru NAFTA Expansion was passed and signed by the Bush administration in late 2007, even though a majority of Democrats voted against the agreement. This FTA replicates the failed NAFTA and CAFTA model – guaranteed to cost more quality jobs, bankrupt more farmers, and give more power to corporations to use international trade tribunals to attack U.S. sovereignty.

There have already been signs pointing to how the Peru FTA is a disaster for many Peruvians. Public Citizen and others warned, before the FTA's passage, that it would incentivize destruction of the environmentally sensitive Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Sure enough, within months of the FTA's implementation, huge parts of rainforest were slated for oil and gas exploration, leading to massive protests by Peruvian indigenous people living in the targeted areas. A violent police crackdown ensued, and it is likely that unrest will continue, thanks to the Peru FTA's investment rules protecting corporations wishing to exploit the Amazon for profit.

As one might expect, the people of Peru did not want this agreement. In April of 2006, the National Electoral Council of Peru certified nearly 60,000 signatures submitted by anti-FTA coalitions to request a referendum on the deal. However, when the June 2006 Peruvian elections resulted in a majority for parties that were critical of the FTA, the lame-duck (post-election, but pre-new congressional term) Peruvian Congress resolved to ignore the petition and, despite broad calls for it to be considered by the newly elected Congress, the lame-duck session in Peru approved the agreement.

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