Peruvian Ambassador and Governor Agree: Increase Trade

by Austin Becker, Intern, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, International Trade & Diplomacy

Peruvian Ambassador to the U.S., Harold Forsyth, departed Utah last week after leaving a strong message with the Governor: we must increase commercial activity between Utah and Peru. Peru’s trade relationship with Utah is based on rapidly growing exports of unrefined gold but a new regional trade agreement could open even greater opportunities.

Before Ambassador Forsyth and his wife departed Salt Lake City to return to their post in Washington D.C., the couple held meetings with the Peruvian, Latino, and business communities of Utah. In a meeting with Governor Gary R. Herbert, Forsyth noted his excitement at future trade possibilities between Utah and his country.

Currently, Utah’s trade relationship with Peru is dominated by unrefined gold which travels from the Latin American country to Utah to be refined and sold abroad again. By weight, Peruvian unrefined gold exports to Utah increased six fold to over 134,000 lbs., between 2008 and 2011.

However, greater potential for trade between Peru and Utah is on the horizon as world leaders from the US, Mexico, Canada, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Australia and several other Asia-Pacific countries negotiate terms that could become the world’s newest free trade agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as it is currently known, could easily represent over $20 trillion in combined national GDP if all negotiating parties join.

For now, gold will remain the center piece of this state-country trade relationship but that could change dramatically in the coming years as talks on the TPP near a final agreement.

Funded in part through a grant award with the U.S. Small Business Administration