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USTR Tests Peru’s Progress in Combatting Illegal Logging

Washington, DC - The United States Trade Representative today, on behalf of the Interagency Committee on Trade in Timber Products from Peru (Timber Committee), called on the Government of Peru to verify that three timber shipments exported to the United States from Peru in 2017 complied with all applicable Peruvian laws and regulations. 

The timber verification provision is a monitoring tool provided for in the United States – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) to ensure robust monitoring and enforcement of Peruvian forestry laws throughout the supply chain. 

Strong monitoring and enforcement of our trade agreements is a top priority for the Trump Administration,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “We are committed to using all available tools to ensure illegal timber from Peru is not entering the United States at the expense of American timber producers and workers.”

The United States and Peru have an active record of engagement on timber-related issues under the PTPA. However, despite improvements in some areas, serious concerns about illegal logging in Peru remain. 

Today’s action will provide an opportunity to test Peru's progress in addressing this continuing challenge and help ensure that Peruvian timber is legally harvested and violators are held accountable.

Background

The PTPA contains a landmark Environment Chapter and Forest Annex, which includes a requirement for Peru to conduct audits and verifications of particular timber producers and exporters upon request from the United States, and provides for U.S. participation in the verification process.  The PTPA further permits the United States to take compliance measures based on the results of a verification.  

The United States first used this verification provision in 2016 to target a single shipment from the Peruvian company Inversiones Oroza (Oroza).  Peru’s investigation revealed that significant portions of Oroza’s shipment were not compliant with Peru’s laws, regulations, and other measures concerning the harvest of, and trade in, timber products, and that systemic challenges remain to combatting illegal logging in Peru.  

In October 2017, USTR took the unprecedented action of blocking timber imports from Oroza for three years or until the Timber Committee determines that Oroza has complied with all applicable laws, regulations, and other measures governing the harvest of and trade in Peruvian timber products, whichever is shorter. 

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