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Panama: FTA with USA

Monday, October 10, 2011

The United States is likely to move quickly to approve a free-trade accord with Panama. President Obama last week sent Congress the legislation for the pact, reached four years ago. The legislation would at the same time ratify trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea, as part of a package, which includes support for workers affected by foreign competition.

Free trade with Panama would more than anything create opportunities for American exporters, since the Panamanian economy is mainly focused on local services, especially logistics, financial services and real estate. It would also provide increased security for American investments in Panama, in areas which might at some time involve a dispute with the state.

Under the terms of the agreement, a claim by Panama against the assets of a U.S. company would be settled by international arbitration, as opposed to a local court. Opportunities refer to exports by United States companies, in several sectors, where current barriers to entry would be significantly reduced, as a result of the agreement coming into force.


  • Processed foods
  • Grains
  • Meat products
  • Clothing and footwear