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President Bush to Host Peruvian President for Talks Friday

The White House says President Bush is to welcome his Peruvian counterpart, Alan Garcia, at talks in Washington Friday.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House said the two leaders will discuss a range of issues, including how to work together to promote democracy, human rights and social justice.

The statement said Peru is a staunch ally of the United States and has demonstrated its support for democracy and the expansion of economic opportunity in the Western Hemisphere.

It said Mr. Bush looks forward to signing legislation recently passed by Congress to implement a free-trade agreement with Peru.

The agreement removes tariffs on many U.S. industrial and agricultural goods exported to Peru.

The U.S. Senate approved the free-trade agreement last week, giving Mr. Bush his first legislative trade victory since the Democratic Party took control of Congress this year. The House of Representatives had already approved the agreement.

To win support from skeptical opposition Democrats, the administration had to add provisions to the deal intended to protect workers and the environment in Peru.

The Bush administration says the new deal will help create jobs, while opponents argue U.S. jobs will be lost.