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Public Statements

United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. SHERMAN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I have heard a lot of folks talk about the substance of this agreement. They started reading the agreement at the front. They saw the substance. They see the labor and the environmental standards. I think they are reading it in the wrong way. With an agreement like this, you need to start reading it from the back where the enforcement provisions are supposed to be.

So let us test the enforcement mechanisms in this agreement. Let me put forth an extreme possibility, an extreme example. Let's say there is a military coup in Peru. Let's say the junta is rounding up labor leaders. Let's say they start executing those labor leaders, God forbid. Let's say they televise those executions and they are being conducted by the head of the junta himself. What enforcement is there in this agreement? Only so much as George Bush decides to have. If he chooses to do nothing, then no action by any court of this country, no private action, no act by this Congress will be of any effect.

In contrast, importers will have an absolute right to enforce their rights to low tariffs on the Peruvian goods they bring into this country because if the tariff is lower, no customs agent of the United States could try to collect a higher amount. President Bush has never inconvenienced a multinational corporation. When in Guatemala, labor leaders like Marco Ramirez and Pedro Zamora were killed, President Bush did nothing. When dozens and more, scores of labor leaders in Colombia are killed, President Bush tells us we should have a free trade agreement.

The only provisions in this agreement that provide for enforcement can be nullified at the whim of a man who has no intention of enforcing this agreement. If you vote for this agreement, it's because you have faith in George Bush to enforce it.


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