December 18, 2013


The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will strengthen the century-old U.S.-Panama geostrategic partnership. From the time of the canal's construction, the United States and Panama have made common cause on issues from security to commerce. The trade agreement will help Americans and Panamanians get even more benefits from these longstanding ties.

The Panama trade agreement will level the playing field for American workers, farmers, and companies by eliminating over 88% of Panama's tariffs on U.S. consumer and industrial goods and a majority of the most competitive U.S. farm exports immediately upon implementation. Panama's average duty on imports from the United States is 7%, whereas the United States eliminated nearly all its tariffs on imports from Panama through the Caribbean Basin Initiative in 1984. The agreement will make these trade openings reciprocal — a two-way street that will benefit both countries.

In addition, the Panama Canal Authority is undertaking an expansion of the canal at a cost of more than $5 billion — one of the largest public works projects in the world today. If approved, the agreement will grant U.S. firms ready access to the Panamanian market and the chance to compete in selling everything from heavy equipment to engineering services in a market that has reached annual growth rates above 8% in recent years.

The agreement is a win-win deal for both countries. This trade agreement will put U.S. trade relations with Panama on a fairer, mutually beneficial footing by eliminating Panama's tariffs — most immediately. For the sake of American workers and farmers, Congress should approve this agreement quickly.

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