Peruvian farmers say the government allows dishonest FTA

Prensa Latina, 22 September 2005

Peruvian Farmers Say the Government Allows Dishonest FTA

Lima, Sep 22 (Prensa Latina) Peruvian National Farming Convention (COVENAGRO) chair Luis Zuñiga asserted Thursday that his government does not provide protection alternatives to the sector’s workers, faced with an eventual Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

Peruvian farmers reject President Alejandro Toledo’s intention to sign the agreement as they consider that their products will compete at a disadvantage with their US rivals, due to the large subsidies in that country.

They are offering 90 million sol ($27 million) in compensation, which is a ridiculous sum of money compared to the losses the TLC will cause us, Zuñiga said.

The COVENAGRO chair also said the Toledo administration ignores the terms of the February 2004 Carta Verde, an agreement signed by the president commiting to support the agricultural sector.

COVENAGRO and 20 other sectors are marching against the FTA Thursday because Zuñiga explained, "We have been at the negotiation table so many times without the government fulfilling its promises, so we have no other choice than to mobilize."

The FTA protest coincides with the penultimate day of the 12th round of Andean countries negotiating the FTA with the United States in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

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source: Prensa Latina