As someone who cares about protecting endangered species here and abroad, I urge you to oppose the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
The U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement is an endorsement of the destruction of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Peru's tropical forests are home to some of the world's richest biodiversity, many of the tens of thousands of plant and animal species in Peru exist nowhere else and all are irreplaceable.
The illegal harvest and trade in mahogany, an endangered timber species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is driving the deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. Illegal mahogany logging in remote national parks is destroying habitat for jaguars, long-haired spider monkeys, blue-headed macaws, and giant river otters.
The United States imports 93% of Peru's mahogany. Any trade deal between the two countries must include a provision, among others, to guarantee that the trade in mahogany is legal and sustainable. Additional environmental concerns with the Agreement were highlighted in a letter dated January 17, 2007, from 11 members of the House Ways and Means Committee to Ambassador Schwab.
Free trade shouldn't mean illegal trade. Vote "NO" on the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement.