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U.S. Accuses Peru of Violating Agreement to Protect Rain Forest

The United States is accusing Peru of violating its commitment to protect the Amazon rain forest from deforestation, threatening to hold Lima in violation of the 2007 United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.

On Friday, Robert Lighthizer, President Trump’s top trade negotiator, announced that he was seeking formal consultations with Peru to resolve concerns about its recent decision to curtail the authority of the country’s forestry auditor, Organismo de Supervisión de los Recursos Forestales, which was established to comply with the treaty. The move prompted concern within the Trump administration — and complaint from congressional Democrats — that it will lead to more illegal logging in Peru.

Over the past 10 years, Congress has sent Peru $90 million in aid intended to beef up enforcement. In 2015, Department of Homeland Security officials in Houston, acting on intelligence from their Peruvian counterparts, seized 1,770 metric tons of Amazon rain forest wood they found in a rusty freighter.

But since then, enforcement has waned, and illegal deforestation is increasing, according to an Associated Press investigation published in April.

Taken from New York Times / Associated Press