Following remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Ambassador to Peru P. Michael McKinley shares his thoughts on the U.S.-Peru relationship.AMBASSADOR MCKINLEY: U.S. relations with Peru at this moment are going through probably their best phase in the last 40 years. It’s based on the work we’ve done together supporting the transition to democracy in Peru since the turn of the century, a growing economic partnership, a partnership in addressing strategic and transnational issues, fighting the narcotics trade, the drug trafficking, and on people-to-people contact.
Exports from the United States to Peru have grown by 70 percent, partly in anticipation of the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement, which was ratified by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Bush and President Garcia in December of 2007. And it reflects what has been an almost exponential increase in bilateral trade in the last ten years between the United States and Peru. But as I said earlier, what we’ve seen throughout the Latin American region is a strengthening of our economic ties.
Economic ties are important for promoting growth and prosperity; and growth and prosperity in these countries helps reduce poverty, create opportunities for a greater number of the peoples in the region. So the benefits are much more than strictly economic. They cascade throughout these societies and create the conditions for sustainable development, for greater social justice, greater opportunities for a wider number of people, and alleviating poverty.
Read more about U.S. diplomacy throughout the Americas in Common Values, Shared Interests: The United States and Its Promise in the Western Hemisphere.