Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with US falters once again
30 November 2005
The Peruvian delegation, sent to Washington to finalise talks on an Andean FTA with the US and 2 other Andean countries only managed to agree on 6 of the 24 clauses. Amongst others, they were unable to close negotiations on agriculture, intellectual property rights, access to the market, textiles, and government procurement meaning that no agreement was signed.
This delay not only means that the Andean FTA has still not been signed - contrary to what the US had predicted - but will also have a political cost for the US because it amounts to yet another obstacle for the continuation of their South American Hemispheric Integration project. What's more, two weeks earlier MERCOSUR (a South American trade block) did not agree to a proposal put forward by the US at the Summit of the Americas, held in Argentina, to restart negotiations on the long awaited Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Five South American countries, including Venezuela and Argentina, strongly apposed relaunching negotiations of the FTAA and want to scrap the proposal in place of a different kind of hemispheric agreement.
Although Toledo is keen for negotiations to close and for the agreement to be signed, there is a polarisation of opinion within Peruvian civil society. There has been a vigorous 'No' campaign whose slogan reads "TLC: Asi no" or "FTAA: Like this - no".