Peru's outgoing parliament has voted to approve a free trade agreement with the United States.

Six legislators chose not to participate in Wednesday's vote, which followed hours of debate and a brief protest by elected lawmakers who will take their seats later this year. The protesters interrupted debate by breaking into the room where the parliament was meeting.

Critics of the trade agreement say U.S. competition will damage business for Peruvian producers.

The United States and Peru settled terms for a free trade agreement late last year. The U.S. Congress is expected to debate the issue later this year.

Annual trade between the United States and Peru is valued at nearly $6 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.