Cablegate: Peru's 2006 National Trade Estimate Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Peru's 2006 National Trade Estimate Report

REF: State 186328

1. The following is Post's submission of the National Trade
Estimate, as requested in reftel.

Trade Overview

2. The U.S. trade deficit with Peru was $1.6 billion in 2004, an
increase of $895 million from the 2003 trade deficit of $710
million. U.S. goods exported in 2004 totaled $2.1 billion, up
23.4 percent from the previous year. Corresponding U.S. imports
from Peru were $3.7 billion, up 53.6 percent. Peru is currently
the 42nd largest export market for U.S. goods.

3. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Peru in
2003 and 2004 was $2.7 billion, down from $2.8 billion in 2002.
U.S. FDI in Peru is concentrated primarily in the mining sector.

Free Trade Negotiations

4. In May 2004, the United States initiated free trade agreement
(FTA) negotiations with three Andean nations -- Colombia, Peru
and Ecuador. Bolivia is participating as an observer and is
expected to become part of the agreement at a later stage. The
U.S. Government will seek to address the issues described in this
chapter within the context of these negotiations. The four
Andean countries collectively represented a market of about $8.5
billion for U.S. exports in 2004, and were home to about $7.2
billion in U.S. foreign direct investment.

Import Policies

5. Tariffs: Peru applies tariffs to virtually all goods
exported, excluding services, from the United States, although
the Government of Peru has consistently lowered tariff rates
since the early 1990s. Currently, 91 percent of the products
imported into Peru are covered by three tariffs: a 12 percent
tariff covers 43 percent of the products, four percent tariff
covers 37 percent of the products and 20 percent tariff apply to
about 11 percent of goods. Tariffs of zero (recently added),
seven, nine, 17 percent and 20 percent apply to the remaining
balance goods. The government maintains a five percent
"temporary" tariff surcharge on agricultural goods to protect
local production and domestic investment in the sector. The
United States is seeking the elimination of Peru's duties on U.S.
exports in the FTA negotiations, upon entry into force of the
agreement where possible and over time for the most sensitive

6. Certain sensitive agricultural products - e.g., corn, rice,
sugar and powdered milk - are subject to a Peru-specific "price
band," or variable levy, which fluctuates to ensure that the
import prices of such products equal a predetermined minimum
import price. This levy is the difference between the minimum
import price and an international reference price plus an
adjustment for insurance, freight and other factors.

7. The U.S. Government is seeking through the FTA negotiation to
eliminate Peru's barriers to trade in our agricultural products,
while providing reasonable adjustment periods and safeguards for
producers of import sensitive agricultural products.

8. Non-Tariff Measures: The Government of Peru has eliminated
almost all non-tariff barriers, including subsidies, import
licensing requirements, import prohibitions and quantitative
restrictions. However, the following imports are banned: used
clothing and shoes (except as charitable donations, which are
subject to the 19% VAT), used tires, remanufactured machine
parts, cars over five years old and heavy trucks (weighing three
tons or more) over eight years old. Used cars and trucks that
are granted import permits must pay a 45 percent excise tax -
compared to 20 percent for a new car - unless they are
refurbished in an industrial center in the south of the country
upon entry, in which case they are exempted entirely from the
excise tax. Import licenses are required for firearms, munitions
and explosives, chemical precursors (since these can be diverted
to illegal narcotics production), ammonium nitrate fertilizer,
and wild plant and animal species.

9. SENASA, the Peruvian plant and animal health agency, imposes
several significant trade barriers (which include bans, import
requirements and sanitary permits) on agricultural products,
including poultry, live animals and animal genetic material.
Among the affected products are:

--Poultry Products: The Peruvian government lifted its ban on
U.S. poultry products in July 2004. Peru will accept imports of
U.S. poultry and poultry products from 42 states, except from the
states of California, Connecticut, Road Island, Pennsylvania,
Texas, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland due to Avian Influenza.
Additionally, in October 2004 SENASA revised its import
requirements, which brought imports from the U.S. to a halt.
Currently Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is working with
SENASA to implement a list of requirements acceptable to both

--Beef and beef products: SENASA enacted a ban on U.S. beef
products in March 2004, due to Bovine Spongiforn Encephalopathy

--Pork: In November 2004, SENASA revised its import
requirements, effectively stopping trade. Since then FSIS has
been working with SENASA to agree on a set of requirements that
would satisfy both parties.

--Paddy Rice: Peru has a ban on paddy rice imports from the
United States. SENASA is currently conducting a Pest Risk
Assessment that, if successful, will result in lifting the ban.
SENASA has not indicated when it will make a final decision.

Government Procurement

10. In 2002, in an effort to support national companies, Peru
began adding 20 percent (on its rating scale of 100) to bids by
Peruvian firms on government procurement contracts. U.S.
pharmaceutical and medical equipment firms have raised concerns
about this practice with regard to bidding on Health Ministry
purchases. U.S. firms contend that the 20-point margin is
excessive, giving unfair advantage to Peruvian competitors that
would otherwise lose these bids on cost or technical grounds. In
2001, Peru began distinguishing between national and
international bidding processes, reserving certain solicitations
for participation by domestic firms only. In November 2004, the
Peruvian government eliminated this distinction for the majority
of products, applying it only to construction works. Peru is not
a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement. In
the FTA negotiations, the U.S. Government is seeking
opportunities for U.S. companies to bid on Peruvian government
procurement contracts.

Intellectual Property Rights Protection

11. Peru is a member of the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO). It is also a member of the Paris
Convention, Berne Convention, Rome Convention, Geneva Phonograms
Convention, Brussels Satellites Convention, Universal Copyright
Convention, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO
Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). Peru remains on the
U.S. Trade Representative's Special 301 Watch List. Concerns
remain about the adequacy of IPR law enforcement, particularly
with respect to the relatively weak penalties imposed on IPR
violators by the criminal justice courts. Although the Peruvian
government recently increased the minimum penalty for piracy to a
four-year sentence, there have yet to be any convictions under
the new law.

12. The United States is currently negotiating IPR provisions
under the ongoing Andean FTA negotiations to improve protection
and strengthen enforcement of IPR. The U.S. Government is
seeking to address specific U.S. industry concerns related to the
protection and enforcement of copyrights and related rights,
patents, proprietary data for pharmaceutical and agricultural
products, trademarks and geographical indications.

13. Copyrights: Peru's 1996 Copyright Law is generally
consistent with the TRIPS Agreement. Peru joined the WCT in July
2001 and the WPPT in February 2002. Although most of the
provisions of these two WIPO treaties are included in Peru's 1996
Copyright Law, officials at Indecopi, the IPR administrative
agency, have acknowledged the need for additional legislation in
order to clarify the rights of artists and producers. The
National Association of Music Publishers continues to criticize
Indecopi's enforcement, claiming that its members are not
receiving the royalties due to them.

14. Despite Peruvian government efforts to increase enforcement,
including increased raids on large-scale distributors and users
of pirated material, piracy remains widespread. The
International Intellectual Property Alliance estimates that
piracy levels in Peru for recorded music was 98 percent in 2004-
2005 with damage to U.S. industry estimated at $100 million,
while motion picture piracy accounts for 60 percent of the market
for a loss of an estimated $5.5 million. Indecopi estimates that
software piracy levels remained the same in 2005, at 56 percent.

15. In July 2004, the Peruvian Government published a Supreme
Decree establishing the Law of Artists, Interpreters and Music to
protect the interests and rights of those involved in the
creative arts, including performers and producers of musical
recordings and motion pictures, from acts of piracy. The decree
argued that blank optical media was being used for "private
copies" and piracy of media and software, violating copyright
laws. Under the law, the Peruvian Artists Association will apply
a levy on all blank optical discs, to be paid by the
manufacturers of blank recording media. All imports of blank
optical discs since November 2004 are subject to the levy.
Imported blank CDs are subject to a $0.25 fee per unit, with
imported blank DVDs subject to a $1.20 levy per unit. These fees
represent 200-300 percent of product cost.

16. Indecopi, the Lima Chamber of Commerce and several companies
are working with the Peruvian Artists Association to lower the
levy to a more reasonable rate.

17. Patents and Trademarks: Peru's 1996 Industrial Property
Rights Law provides the framework for patent protection. In
1997, based on an agreement reached with the U.S. Government,
Peru addressed several inconsistencies with the WTO TRIPS
Agreement provisions on patent protection and most-favored nation
treatment for patents.

18. However, the U.S. pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries
continue to have concerns about Peru's protection of confidential
test data. Peruvian government health authorities approved the
commercialization of new drugs that were the bioequivalents of
already approved drugs, thereby denying the originator companies
the exclusive use of their data. In effect, the government of
Peru is allowing the test data of registered drugs from some
companies to be used by others seeking approval for their own
pirate version of the same product. U.S. companies also are
concerned that the Peruvian government does not provide patent
protection to second uses, which would allow a company with a
patented compound for one use to subsequently patent a second use
of that compound. Although Peruvian law provides the means for
effective trademark protection, counterfeiting of trademarks and
imports of counterfeit merchandise remain widespread.

Services Barriers

19. The U.S. Government is seeking through the FTA negotiations
to secure greater access for U.S. providers of cross-border
services to the Peruvian market, including in the areas of
financial and telecommunications services.
20. Basic Telecommunications Services: In the WTO negotiations
on basic telecommunications services, concluded in March 1997,
Peru made commitments on all basic telecommunications services,
with full market access and national treatment to be provided as
of June 1999. Peru is continuing the process of developing a
competitive telecommunications market and lowered its
interconnection rates for most types of telephones in 2001.
Termination rates for calls to mobile networks, however, remain
one of the highest in the world. This issue has become
particularly acute as a result of the recent acquisition by
Telefonica of the second largest wireless provider in the
country, thereby increasing Telefonica's market share in the
wireless sector to over 70 percent.
21. OSIPTEL, Peru's telecommunications regulator, is currently
working to establish its model to lower mobile termination rates.
This model, according to the OSIPTEL timeframe, should be
published in late December 2005. In May 2005, OSIPTEL
temporarily reduced the mobile termination rate from $0.25 to
$0.21. Other suppliers claim that unconstrained pricing by the
dominant supplier has created significant barriers to competition
in the wireless sector. In addition, some concerns remain about
the independence and strength of the government regulatory body
established to oversee the sector. In particular, U.S. industry
has complained about the lack of transparency in the regulatory
decision-making process.

Investment Barriers

22. National treatment for foreign investors is guaranteed under
Peru's 1993 constitution. Prior approval is not required for
investment by foreign or domestic persons, except in banking and
defense-related industries. There are no limitations on the
repatriation of capital or profits. Arbitration is available for
disputes between foreign investors and the Government of Peru.
Several U.S. companies have chosen to pursue claims through
arbitration, with mixed results. In July 2005, the Supreme Court
issued an edict stating that final binding arbitration awards
cannot be disputed in the Judiciary.

23. Peruvian law restricts majority ownership of broadcast media
to Peruvian citizens. Foreigners are also restricted from owning
land or investing in natural resources within 50 kilometers of a
border, but they can operate within those areas with special
authorization. National air and water transportation are
restricted to domestic operators. In July 2001, inter-urban land
transportation was also reserved for Peruvian carriers.

24. Under current law, foreign employees may not comprise more
than 20 percent of the total number of employees of a local
company (whether owned by foreign or Peruvian persons) or more
than 30 percent of the total company payroll, although some
exemptions apply. Newly established companies, multinational
service providers, banks and transportation companies are all
granted exemptions. Additionally, foreign companies do not have
limitations on the number of foreign management officers they may

25. Several U.S. firms complain that executive branch ministries,
regulatory agencies, the tax agency and the judiciary lack the
resources, expertise and impartiality necessary to carry out
their respective mandates. Peru's weak judicial branch is a
particular problem. Commercial disputes that end up in Peruvian
courts are often delayed and can yield results that are not
foreseeable based on a review of relevant precedents. The tax
agency, with its retroactive reinterpretation of rules and
disproportionate fines, has also created additional investment
and trade barriers. The Toledo Administration has tried to
address institutional weaknesses in the executive branch and has
offered plans for judicial reform. The U.S. Government has
worked with the Government of Peru both before and in parallel
with the FTA negotiations to ensure a fair resolution of U.S.
investor disputes, consistent with Peruvian law. Several of
those disputes have been resolved while others remain pending.

26. The U.S. Government is seeking through the FTA negotiations
a range of protections with respect to the treatment of U.S.
investors, as well as a guaranteed right for those investors to
have recourse to international arbitration in the event of
disputes with the Peruvian government.

Electronic Commerce
27. The Peruvian government is moving to put in place
legislation that will facilitate electronic commerce. It has
already passed laws giving legal status to digital signatures,
creating a framework for electronic contracts and making it
illegal to tamper with, destroy or interfere with computer
systems or data. The U.S. is seeking in the FTA negotiations to
include rules prohibiting duties on and discrimination against
digital products, such as computer programs, videos, images, and
sound recordings, based on where they are made or the nationality
of the firms or persons making them.


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