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Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Signing Ceremony

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
December 14, 2007

I am delighted that today President Bush signed into law the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. This is the culmination of a process that began May 18, 2004 when our two nations initiated formal negotiations. I salute the considerable efforts of the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Peruvian Ministry of Trade in negotiating this agreement, and I congratulate the United States Congress for approving the agreement by such an overwhelming margin.

The mutual benefits for both nations are clear. This agreement will benefit U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers by giving our products the same treatment in Peru that Peru's exports already enjoy in the United States through the Andean Trade Preference Act. The trade benefits are only part of the story, a cornerstone of a much broader United States policy of engagement in the region. More importantly, this agreement reinforces the message that the United States will continue to build stronger relationships with committed partners in the hemisphere.

I appreciate Congress's strong bipartisan approval of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. Our collective efforts on both sides of the aisle and with regional partners send a strong message of support for Latin America's democratic leaders like President Alan Garcia who are working to make their countries more prosperous and to ensure that all of their citizens share in that prosperity.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Democratic and Republican leadership for their determined efforts on behalf of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. I look forward to similar energetic, bipartisan leadership in support of the trade promotion agreement with Colombia in the new year.

2007/1136



Released on December 14, 2007

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