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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

Bridgestone V. Panama
The US subsidiaries of Bridgestone Corporation lost a $20 million plus arbitration claim against the Republic of Panama filed by under the US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
Trump Organization pressures Varela
A letter sent by the Trump Organization’s lawyers reminded President Varela of Panama’s obligations under a 1983 treaty that protects the rights of investors from the United States.
Panama president cancels Colon land sale after clashes
Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli says he will scrap plans to sell off state-owned land in the duty-free zone of Colon after violent protests - one week before the US-Panama FTA comes into effect.
Residents in Panama protest privatization of canal zone as US trade deal nears
next week, a trade deal with Panama will go into effect. Anti-corruption advocates have criticized Panama for providing tax havens for wealthy corporations and its policies have drawn protest from within the country. This week, residents of Colon are under a curfew after protesters hit the streets in response to the government’s plan to privatize land.
US-Panama Free Trade Agreement enters into force Oct. 31
United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk announced today the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will enter into force on October 31, 2012.
US - Panama trade deal to go into force "very soon": USTR Kirk
A long-delayed free trade agreement between the United States and Panama will soon go into force, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on Friday.
The US whitewashes Panama’s fatal flaws to champion FTA
US policymakers would be wise to re-evaluate the TPA, carefully separating the pros from the cons.
Trading our future: Tax cheating and the Panama free trade agreement
From World War II until NAFTA, US trading policies were based on geopolitical needs and what would increase prosperity for America. Since NAFTA, however, the mantra of free trade has been warped to generate rights for international capital and nothing else.
Panama deal opens way for other trade agreements
Administration officials said Tuesday that a free trade agreement with Panama is ready for congressional consideration and that they hoped it will be part of a larger trade agenda that also includes completion of long-pending free trade treaties with South Korea and Colombia.
Panama human rights problems spotlighted in Washington
The list of US criticisms of human rights infringements in Panama under the Martinelli administration continues to grow and the president, unlike the leaders of other countries seeking an FTA, has still not been invited to the White House.