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US-Panama

Separate from the US-Dominican Republic-Central America free trade agreement (DR-CAFTA), the US is negotiating a bilateral deal with Panama. The process started in April 2004 and a text was finally agreed to in December 2006. The process has drawn active and strong opposition from many sectors in Panama, from school teachers to cattle ranchers. Meat trade between the two countries was a key sticking point, with Panama long resisting Washington’s demands to accept US sanitary standards as its own. The text of the final agreement on food safety (SPS) shows that the Panamanian government completely gave in.

In October 2011, the US Congress ratified the FTA and on 10 November both governments began the formal process to secure its entry into force by October 2012.

last update: Mayl 2012


Free trade showdown: How long can Panama hold out for an agreement that reflects its own national interests?
DR-CAFTA’s narrow victory will incite US domestic producers’ lobbies to exert heavier pressure to get a US-Panama agreement more favorable to US industry.
The first victim of the free trade agreement
He was a Panamanian who lived of what the land gave him. His name? Sabino Rivera. What happened? Death took him when a bomb, abandoned by the United States in Panama, blew him to pieces.
Thousands in Panama protest free trade talks
Thousands of students, activists and farmers marched through downtown Panama City Thursday to protest U.S.-Panama free trade talks taking place in another part of the city.
US, Panama to begin free-trade negotiations in late April
The United States and Panama announced March 26 that they will begin free-trade negotiations in Panama City, Panama, during the week of April 26, according to a press release issued by the Office of the US Trade Representative.