Peru Free Trade Agreement Before Congress

A US/Peru free trade agreement (FTA)
is now before Congress, and it has the strong support of textile manufacturers. Cass Johnson,
president of the Washington-based National Council of Textile Organizations, said its members like
the agreement and hope it will serve as a “template” for agreements with the other Andean nations —
Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador. The agreement has a yarn-forward rule of origin; no tariff
preference levels allowing use of inputs from nonparticipating countries and calls for strong US
Customs enforcement — all provisions the US textile industry has sought in other free trade
agreements. Calling the Peruvian FTA a “very good agreement,” US Trade Representative Rob Portman
said “it is a very important part of our Andean Pact free trade strategy.”

January 26, 2006