first_imgLIMA, Peru — The top U.S. trade official has taken the first step toward potential sanctions on Peru for allegedly violating the environmental protections included in its free trade pact.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced Friday that the Trump administration has requested consultations with Peru. The consultations are aimed at opening a diplomatic channel to resolve the dispute before advancing toward more punitive measures.Peru recently moved an agency monitoring the nation’s notoriously corrupt logging industry to be under the Environment Ministry. The agency is required to be independent under the U.S-Peru trade pact.Peru’s government contends the forest auditor’s office remains independent despite the shift.The case could have broader implications as Washington debates ratifying a new North American free trade deal.The Associated Presslast_img