LIMA, Peru – The Peruvian government assured that it is negotiating with Ecuador over the lifting of customs duties levied on exports on 10 January by Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa. It expects the economic restrictions to be removed in the last week of February, announced the foreign trade and tourism minister Mercedes Aráoz in statements to the Peruvian news agency Andina.com.
Aráoz said that her country “will appeal to dialogue and not commercial reprisals against Ecuador” in order to renegotiate customs duties. The measure has cost Peru US$200 million in trade over the past month, according to El Comercio.
She also revealed that if the announcement made by Ecuador’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade Eduardo Egas is honoured, the import barriers on goods from Peru will be lifted at the end of February. “They are finishing the relevant studies and will have an answer for us this week. We do not know if there will be an immediate solution,” Aráoz went on to say.
Ecuador's restriction affects the exports of a large number of Peruvian products, such as footwear, confectionary, pastas, alcoholic beverages, mirrors, crockery, textiles, bottled water, animal feed, hygiene products, mechanical metal products, clothing and refrigerators.
Ecuador decided to levy customs duties on all imports from Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia, fellow CAN members, in January 2009 in order to counteract the deficit in its trade balance.
Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. Andina.com reported that Bolivia walked away from these negotiations in 2008, after differences regarding the individual negotiation methods of the Andean countries and stances on issues such as intellectual property, worker safety and government purchases.