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EIA petitions US government on illegal logging

The non-profit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has formally petitioned the US Government to take action under the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement to investigate and verify the legal origin of shipments from at least two Peruvian companies and to audit dozens more.

EIA released results from a multi-year investigative report showing that between 2008 and 2010 more than 100 shipments containing millions of dollars worth of illegal cedar or mahogany wood from the Peruvian Amazon were exported to the United States.

This wood is alleged to have been harvested and traded in contravention of Peruvian and US laws, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and, more recently, the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement or FTA.

The US-Peru FTA contains provisions giving the US the authority to request that Peru conduct audits of timber producers or exporters who it has reason to believe are trading in illegal timber, as well as verifications of specific shipments.