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Peru - Relations with the United States

Peru and the United States first established diplomatic relations in 1826, five years following the proclamation of Peruvian independence in July 1821 under General San Martin. The area that became the Republic of Peru previously had been under Spanish sovereignty. Diplomatic relations have been interrupted due to intermittent territorial disputes with its neighbors, periods of military rule, and coups that have overthrown civilian constitutional government. However, diplomatic ties have never been severed between the two countries.

Following its independence from Spain, in 1836 Peru joined the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. The United States recognized the Peru-Bolivian Confederation on March 16, 1837 by the appointment of James B. Thornton as Charg dAffaires. Thornton was commissioned to Peru but received by the Peru-Bolivian Confederation.

Peru and the United States: The Condor and the Eagle (The United States and the Americas) by Lawrence Clayton - a Clayton's diplomatic history of Peruvian-US relations - completes the first dozen of such studies in the University of Georgia series. It is a particularly vital work of scholarship because it transcends the traditional diplomatic history to include important social and economic themes, especially the unbalanced relationships between powerful US corporations such as Grace and the International Petroleum Company and the Peruvian state.

Taking a long historical view, Clayton tells of major players like railroad entrepreneur Henry Meiggs and industrialist William Grace; of the role of American firms like Cerro de Pasco and International Petroleum; and of the height of American influence in the 1920s under the leadership of Peruvian president Augusto B. Legua. In addition, he describes how the War of the Pacific with Chile affected Peru's march toward modernization, and assesses the legacy of the Peruvian Institutional Revolution of 1968.

Peru's troubled relationship with the US military through the Sendero Luminoso era is given close attention. News crews from ABC and CBS traveled to Peru to report on merciless terrorists, starving peasants, and Colombian drug runners in the white gold rush of the coca trade.

Relations were strained following the tainted re-election of former president Fujimori in June 2000, but improved with the installation of an interim government in November 2000 and the inauguration of the government of Alejandro Toledo in July 2001. Currently, the United States enjoys strong and cooperative relations with Peru, and relations with President Humalas administration remain positive. The United States continues to promote the strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights safeguards in Peru, and the integration of Peru into the world economy.

Peru and the US signed the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) in April 2006 in Washington, DC. The PTPA was ratified by the Peruvian Congress in June 2006 and by the US Congress in December 2007. On December 14, 2007 the President signed legislation to implement the PTPA. On February 29, 2008, the President signed legislation to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) until December 31, 2008.

Free trade agreements (FTAs) have proved to be one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to US exporters. The United States has FTAs with 14 countries and among them Peru. Peru's new free trade agreement with the USA will come into force in January 2009.

The United States enjoys strong and cooperative relations with Peru. Relations were strained following the tainted re-election of former President Fujimori in June 2000, but improved with the installation of an interim government in November 2000 and the inauguration of the government of Alejandro Toledo in July 2001. Relations with President Garcia's administration are positive. The United States continues to promote the strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights safeguards in Peru and the integration of Peru into the world economy.

The United States and Peru cooperate on efforts to interdict the flow of narcotics, particularly cocaine, to the United States. Bilateral programs now in effect reduce the flow of drugs through Peru's port systems, and ground interdiction and successful law enforcement operations are performed in tandem. These U.S. Government-supported law enforcement efforts complement an aggressive effort to establish an alternative development program for coca farmers in key coca growing areas to voluntarily reduce and eliminate coca cultivation. This effort is funded by the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

To further strengthen its democracy, combat transnational organized crime, and promote socially inclusive economic growth, the Peruvian government has committed to broaden economic opportunities throughout the nation, as well as to increase the States presence in areas susceptible to the influence and control of narco-traffickers, including the Apurimac, Ene and Montaro River Valley . U.S. assistance promotes these objectives through bilateral programs that support Perus anti-narcotics and alternative development efforts, advance social and economic inclusion, improve governance, strengthen basic education, and promote sound environmental stewardship.

Economic and commercial ties have deepened with the 2009 entry into force of the U.S.- Peru TPA. The volume and diversity of trade in both directions has grown with two-way trade almost doubling from $9 billion in 2009 to $16 billion in 2014. Agricultural trade was a bilateral highlight with U.S. exports up 53percent to $1.2 billion in 2014 and Peruvian exports up 24 percent at $1.9 billion. Total U.S. exports to Peru held steady at $10 billion in 2014. Approximately 500,000 U.S. citizens visit Peru annually for business, tourism, or study. Peru is a participant, along with the United States, in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.



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