Toward a Vibrant Peruvian Middle Class: Effects of the Peru-U.S. Free Trade Agreement on Labor Rights, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Populations

56 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2008

See all articles by Stephen Joseph Powell

Stephen Joseph Powell

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Paola A. Chavarro

Chavarro & Gorinshteyn, LLC.; Perales & Fernandez, LLP

Date Written: July 23, 2007


Past research confirms that trade and human rights are inextricably linked by trade's effects on poverty, labor, women, indigenous populations, health, and the environment. We identified surprisingly direct linkages between these two vital policies in WTO agreements as well as that regional trade agreements add positive indirect contributions by to rules-based governance through their emphasis on transparency, accountability, and due process by governments, as well as timeliness, inclusive record keeping, and impartiality in the administrative decisional process. The present research examines a particular country and a single trade agreement, Peru and the trade agreement between Peru and the United States.

Against the backdrop of Peru's large informal economy and its past reliance on the capital-intensive mineral and metal industries, the paper examines the potential effects of diversification of exports from increased foreign investment and continued access to the U.S. textile and apparel market. We address the Agreement's unique recognition of Peru's biodiversity and its inevitable connection to Peru's indigenous populations, in addition to the opportunities such recognition presents for cooperative efforts aimed at protecting the environment and preserving traditional knowledge while permitting research for lifesaving medicines. We look at the ability of the labor chapter of the Agreement to focus efforts of the Peruvian government to enforce fully its worker rights laws. We close with a look at infrastructural changes that Peru's Government may best undertake to magnify the Agreement's benefits. For example, efforts to strengthen the linkages between the knowledge centers and the potential knowledge users in the business community are necessary steps to take advantage of the new technologies so essential to solving the social and environmental challenges that Peru faces.

Keywords: international trade, regional economic arrangements, human rights, environmental protection, labor rights

JEL Classification: F02, F43, J43, K33, N56, Q17

Suggested Citation

Powell, Stephen Joseph and Chavarro, Paola A., Toward a Vibrant Peruvian Middle Class: Effects of the Peru-U.S. Free Trade Agreement on Labor Rights, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Populations (July 23, 2007). Florida Journal of International Law, Vol. 20, No. 1, p. 93, 2008 , Available at SSRN:

Stephen Joseph Powell (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117629
230 Bruton-Geer Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7629
United States
352-273-0857 (Phone)
352-392-1457 (Fax)


Paola A. Chavarro

Chavarro & Gorinshteyn, LLC. ( email )

270 Carpenter Drive NE
Suite 530
Atlanta, GA 30328
United States
4044001774 (Phone)

Perales & Fernandez, LLP ( email )

3 Corporate Blvd N.E.
Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30329
United States
404-320-0088 (Phone)

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