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United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I thank the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, if you're not going to vote for this trade agreement, you're probably not going to vote for any trade agreement that's before us.

This trade agreement is a no-brainer. This trade agreement is a bipartisan agreement. This trade agreement shows what you can get accomplished when we all work together.

This trade agreement recognizes the fact that we have one-way trade right now with Peru, and with this agreement we have two-way trade. Ninety-seven percent of all of Peru's exports come into the U.S. duty free; only 2.8 percent of our goods go to Peru duty free. This lets us send our stuff there duty free. This gives us the same opportunity to send our exports as we already give the Peruvians.

Now, what we hear often on the floor about why trade agreements are so bad, it's usually the trade deficit. Well, here is one interesting statistic, Mr. Speaker; 85 percent of the trade deficit comes from countries we don't have trade agreements with. You see, when we get trade agreements, we get good agreements for our country. We get the rule of law. We get enforceable contracts. We get access to their markets. Why is that important? It's important to get access to other markets because 97 percent of the world's consumers are not here in America; they're overseas. Ninety-seven percent of the world's consumers are elsewhere outside of this country.

We are a mature country, a fast economy, a mature economy. We have a high standard of living relative to the rest of the world. And if we want to enjoy that high standard of living, if we want to build on that high standard of living, if we want to fulfill the American Dream, which our parents and grandparents always taught us, which is, in America, you leave the next generation better off than your generation, you've got to find more markets and more consumers for our products.

We cannot possibly consume all that we make and all that we do because only 3 percent of the world's consumers are here. That's why we have to open markets; that's why we have to have access.

This is a good agreement for foreign policy reasons. This is saying to the reformers in Latin America, we're with you. This is saying to the human rights movement, to individual rights, to democracy, we are with you. America stands with you. That is so important at a time when you have a threat knocking on the door from people like Chavez next door in Venezuela.

Let me just read a few statistics of some of the recent successes of some of our recent free trade agreements with respect to our exports, which creates jobs, and how this has helped grow America's standard of living.

Since we've had free trade agreements with these countries, here is the success: Our exports to Jordan, up 92 percent; our exports to Chile, up 150 percent; our exports to Singapore, up 49 percent; our exports to Australia, up 25 percent; our exports to Morocco, up 67 percent; our exports to Bahrain, up 40 percent. Our exports are up 15 percent this year alone. That's one of the reasons why our economy grew at an astounding rate of 3.9 percent last quarter alone, because of exports. And we all know, the statistics are very clear, that exports produce good-paying jobs.

So, Mr. Speaker, this is a chance to strike a blow for enforceable contracts, for the rule of law, for worker rights in Latin America, and for jobs here in America.

Again, as I mentioned in the start, this is a no-brainer. I want to thank the chairman of the Ways and Means, Mr. Rangel, for his work on this. I want to thank our ranking member, Mr. McCrery, for his work on this. And I also want to thank the people who really sweat this thing out at the negotiating table, the people at the USTR, and our Ambassador, Susan Schwab, for all of the hard work they put into this. This is one step in the right direction. Panama and Colombia are two more steps in the right direction.

I urge adoption of this.


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