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Peru trade perilous for U.S. regulations

Left to right: Peruvian President Alan Garcia and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez at a press conference on the Pervuian free-trade agreement.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: After a tense debate, the House passed a free-trade agreement with Peru yesterday. It's surprising just how contentious free trade is in Congress. Free trade sounds like a good thing, but there's more to the story. Dan Grech reports from our America's Desk at WLRN.


Dan Grech: President Bush's free-trade agenda has angered Democrats, but not for the obvious reason:

Lori Wallach: If these trade agreements were just about trade, there wouldn't be such a big fight.

Lori Wallach directs Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. She says these trade pacts are designed to advance the interests of U.S. corporations.

Wallach: That's basically the corporate Christmas agenda of all the goodies you can possibly imagine.

Wallach says the fine print of the Peru trade pact bypasses food safety rules, promotes offshoring, and skirts environmental regulations.

Wallach: All of these non-trade issues are the reason why these agreements are so fiercely opposed.

Three trade pacts are still on the table: South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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