Levin Statement on USTR’s Request to Peru to Conduct Logging Compliance Verification

Feb 26, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today released the following statement after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that, pursuant to the provisions of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (Peru TPA) Annex on Forest Sector Governance, it is formally requesting that Peru verify the legality of timber products shipped from Peru to the United States:

“In 2007, House Democrats addressed illegal logging and deforestation in Peru as part of their May 10th initiative to write enforceable environmental and labor standards into trade agreements. The Forestry Annex agreed to by both countries was an unprecedented effort to spell out necessary steps to address deforestation in the Amazon.

“However, Peru’s record on implementing its environmental obligations under the Peru TPA has been deeply troubling, as illegal logging remains a pervasive problem.

“USTR’s action today is a welcome step, but as members of Congress have expressed, much further work urgently needs to be done to ensure that Peru meets its obligations under its existing trade agreement with the United States.

“The continuing major deforestation and illegal logging in the Amazon has major implications for the climates of both North and South America.”