US Ambassador speaks out on aid and the Free Trade Agreement

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US Ambassador James Curtis Struble today announced the possibility of increased economic aid to
Peru in 2008 to help in social aspects of the fight against poverty.
“It’s likely that we’ll see a significant contribution to
Peru for the 2008 fiscal year, which starts in six months. We’re seeing a change of focus to more social issues,” he told RPP Noticias.

Talking about the recent reduction of aid from 58 to 36 million dollars, he said that there are a number of factors to be analyzed in greater depth than the newspaper headlines about the reduction.

For example, he pointed out that in recent years the USA has made strong investments in infrastructure in Peru, a move that cannot be repeated indefinitely.

Amongst these investments, he mentioned that the US government has spent $60 million on re-equipping the National Police’s helicopter fleet, as well as building a police academy in Ayacucho at a cost of $10 million.“It’s natural to expect a reduction now that we have completed these large infrastructure projects in the country. It is possible that global aid to
Peru may be greater in 2008 than this year,” he added.

Struble also pointed out that Peru has been selected for the Umbral program, which will hand out credits to certain countries that join the Millennium Challenge Fund.

He further suggested that congressional debate over the Free Trade Agreement between the USA and Peru will start after President Alan García’s visit to Washington in April.“President García has indicated that he will probably visit
Washington in April, and we are coordinating dates for that. I think that the debate will take place later this year,” he said.

As Ambassador Struble explained, conditions for the approval of the agreement have evolved since the Democratic Party gained a congressional majority last November.He said that Peru should stay patiently “at one side” to let Republican Party representatives hold talks with Democrats in order to ensure a majority in favor of the Free Trade Agreement.

“This started in early January… but the message I’ve received from Republican friends in Congress in that their efforts have been intense and they have made advances. I remain optimistic,” he stated.

Struble claimed that US interest in the agreement has resulted in several actions, such as the visit to Peru made by a group of senators in January.All of them have shown a lot of interest in Peru and in the progress that has been made, and they say that they are keen not to do anything that could harm the growing tendencies in Peru,” he said.

Scooped from Andina

See also:
US Trade Ambassador to visit Lima next week, today only in the Bean.

One Response

  1. […] Vladimiro Montesinos ← US Ambassador speaks out on aid and the Free Trade Agreement […]

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