February 7, 2018 |
LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s trade minister defended China as a good trade partner on Tuesday, after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Latin American countries against excessive reliance on economic ties with the Asian powerhouse.
Eduardo Ferreyros said Peru’s 2010 trade liberalization deal with China had allowed the Andean nation of about 30 million people to post a $2.74 billion trade surplus with Beijing last year.
“China is a good trade partner,” Ferreyros told foreign media, as Tillerson met with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in Lima, a stop on Tillerson’s five-nation Latin American tour. “We’re happy with the results of the trade agreement.”
The remarks were the Peruvian government’s first signal since Tillerson’s warning that it does not share Washington’s concerns about growing Chinese influence in the region.
Before kicking off his trip to Latin America on Friday, Tillerson suggested that China could become a new imperial power in the region, and accused it of deploying unfair trade practices.
“I appreciate advice, no matter where it comes from. But we’re careful with all of our trade relations,” Ferreyros said, when asked about Tillerson’s remarks.
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