Globalisation and Exploitation in Peru: Strategic Selectivities and the Defeat of Labour in the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement


  • Bart-Jaap Verbeek Radboud University, Nijmegen



Internationalisation of the state, Labour, neoliberalism, Peru, strategic selectivities, Trade Promotion Agreement.,


This article examines the socio-economic implications of the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement for the governance of Peruvian labour relations. It is argued that the trade agreement aims to lock-in the neoliberal market reforms carried out since the 1990s, which have given rise to an export-oriented regime of accumulation that is characterised by considerable labour exploitation. The marginal role of organised labour and social movements to influence the course of events is placed against the backdrop of neoliberal hegemony and the altered state-society relations that followed from it. Most notably, it identifies the incapability of movement leaders to supersede the grassroots level and develop the necessary political linkages on the one hand, and deliberate government strategies that formed part of a powerful pro-free trade coalition of state officials and the corporate sector on the other hand. The article concludes that the ascendency of the neoliberal state has come to rely on increasingly coercive methods to curb more critical and anti-free trade elements in Peruvian organised labour and social movements.