President Kuczynski Visits U.S.

(Peruvian Times) - President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski traveled to the United States last night, for visits that will start Friday in New York and then continue in Washington, D.C., with a final stop to his alma mater on the weekend in Princeton, New Jersey.

The President will be meeting the new U.N. secretary general, Antonio Guterres, Friday morning for talks on several topics, including immigration, the possible incorporation of Peru to the Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, and Peru’s new role in the region as of 2018 when it joins the UN Security Council for two years.

In a televised address to the nation Feb. 22, President Kuczynski said he is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday afternoon.

“With Donald Trump we will talk, above all, about protecting free trade in the Americas and in the world. We will talk about the political prospects and also about our Peruvian fellow citizens living in the United States.  One fundamental issue in the United States is the economic prospects, because it is our second export market,” Kuczynski said.

Eduardo Ferrero, former Foreign Relations minister, believes this is a good opportunity for the Kuczynski-Trump meeting, since both administrations are new and can build on an already strong relationship.   Ferrero also believes the immigration issue should be on the agenda, given new White House policies. In 2010, over 610,000 Peruvians were resident in the U.S. but the true number is undoubtedly higher.

Peru’s ambassador to Washington, D.C., Carlos Pareja, believes the meeting can build a strong strategic relationship and new points for cooperation.

Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. in April 2006, quickly almost doubling trade figures. In 2016, according to America Economia, Peru’s export revenue from products shipped to the U.S. was $6.18 billion, which includes the strong, traditional minerals sector and products from the growing agroexport industry.

The meeting with President Trump is also bound to include the possible arrest and deportation of Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo, who is in California and whose arrest has been ordered by Peru’s Attorney General as a preventive measure while an investigation is ongoing into bribes allegedly received by Toledo from the Brazilian project development firm Odebrecht.

A week ago, Kuczynski phoned Trump about the case.  Peru’s Justice ministry has already started the process to request Toledo’s extradition from the U.S., a procedure that could take between one week to six months. Deportation, given the Trump administration’s current focus on immigration, could be much quicker.

Princeton Honors

On Feb. 25, Kuczynski will spend the day at his alma mater, Princeton, where he will join the university’s alumni activities and where he and the former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, will be honored.   Kuczynski will talk on “A New Age for Latin America.”

Kuczynski — who earned a Master in Public Affairs in 1961 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs — is to receive the James Madison Medal, awarded every year to an alumnus or alumna of the Graduate School who has had a distinguished career or achieved an outstanding record of public service.

“Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has made enormous contributions as an economist and statesman,” said Sanjeev Kulkarni, dean of the Graduate School. “We’re proud to recognize such a distinguished Princetonian with the Madison Medal.”

Eric Schmidt, a member of the Class of 1976, will receive the Woodrow Wilson Award in recognition of “his service and dedication to creating a healthier, safer and more productive planet,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Wilson School. Schmidt’s work is focused on fostering projects that use technology for innovative ideas, in a field as broad as creating safer roads or curing diseases.

Jared Snow