Jeanette Blain | Staff Writer | @JeanetteBlain
Mar. 19, 2015, Ricardo Romero Talledo spoke to 150 students in the Ragan Theatre as part of the lecture series for UVU’s Global Spotlight Peru initiative. This lecture was sponsored by the International and Multicultural Studies Department and cosponsored by the Department of Finance and Economics at UVU Woodbury School of Business.
Since 2008, Romero has served as Peru’s trade representative to the West Coast of the United States. He was invited to UVU to speak about the commercial relationship between Peru and the United States.
Romero said Peru, a country of over 30 million people, has changed since the 1990s, when it had a closed economy. Thanks to trade agreements with the U.S. and other countries, Peru is in a period of economic growth.
In 2009, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement became law.
“Trade agreements are fundamental, not only as an economic policy that generates growth, but also as a tool to attract investment,” said Romero.
The PTPA benefited both countries.
Romero said that before the trade agreement, Peru was able to export duty-free goods to the United States. Goods going into Peru, however, were not duty-free. This caused a large increase in U.S. exports to Peru after PTPA giving the country more access to outside goods and creating opportunities for U.S. companies.
Romero’s role, as trade representative, includes educating companies and state regulators about the potential for international trade growth in Western states, like Utah.
“Most of the flow of goods and services between Peru and the United States has been in the Eastern United States. But, that has changed to a point that 28 percent of all goods that come to the U.S. go through L.A. ports and the Port of Seattle,” said Romero.
Before concluding the lecture, Romero took time to talk about his personal journey. He has been in trade for 23 years and is still excited about it.
“For me it’s an honor to represent my country and to talk to students like yourselves, and other audiences, about what Peru is all about.”
The Global Spotlight Peru initiative has run a series of events over the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.
“The states sponsors the program because they want students to become more internationally and culturally aware,” said Jared Alvarez, Global Spotlight coordinator. “It’s good to have those exchanges and see the different perspectives of people from other countries.”
The department will host several more events this semester, including a visit by Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori.
This article was updated for clarification on duty free exports on April 22, 2015 at 7:05 p.m.