Peru trade pact enacted; Uruguay holds out

On Dec. 14 US president George W. Bush signed legislation approving the Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA, or TLC for its initials in Spanish), which will eventually eliminate tariffs between the two countries. The signing took place at a ceremony in the White House in Washington, DC, which Peruvian president Alan Garcia attended along with diplomats and members of the US Congress. According to an opinion poll by the Apoyo firm published in the daily Comercio on Dec. 16, 66% of Peruvians favor the accord and only 25% oppose it. Apoyo says the poll was carried out among 1,017 Peruvians between Dec. 12 and 14 and has a 3.1% margin of error. (El Diario-La Prensa, Dec. 17 from AP)

At a party congress on Dec. 16, Uruguay‘s governing leftist Frente Amplio (FA, “Broad Front”) reaffirmed its opposition to an FTA with the US that President Tabare Vazquez, also of the FA, has reportedly been negotiating with the Bush administration. The planned agreement has also met opposition from the other members of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Venezuela. The FA party congress indicated that it supported continuing the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which Uruguay signed with the US in January. (La Jornada, Dec. 17 from AFP)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 23

See our last post on Peru.