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Caterpillar Pushes for Passage of U.S.-Panamanian Trade Promotion Agreement


Caterpillar Pushes for Passage of U.S.-Panamanian Trade Promotion Agreement

16 May 2007

Media Release

Caterpillar Pushes for Passage of U.S.-Panamanian Trade Promotion Agreement

Caterpillar Vice President for Latin America appears before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. and calls for free trade to support the political and economic relationship with this important democracy and ally

WASHINGTON, D.C.-In testimony given Wednesday, May 16, before the United States International Trade Commission in Washington D.C., the Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) vice president with responsibility for Latin America emphasized why a Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will be remarkably beneficial for the U.S., Panama and the region.

Tom Gales cited a major construction project the country is embarking on-the expansion of the Panama Canal-as one reason why duty-free trade is essential. The expansion is the world’s largest public works project since the Three Gorges Dam was constructed in China.

"The current canal is itself a trade barrier," Gales explained. "Today, about five percent of all world trade passes through the Panama Canal, and much of that trade originates in the ports of Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles. But with the Canal at capacity and many of the newer, larger ships unable to use the Canal, it takes longer than it should for some U.S. exports to reach overseas markets. An expanded Canal would help fix that and allow many American manufacturers to be more competitive by shortening their supply chain and reducing inventories. Now is the time to act."

The potential economic benefits for Caterpillar, the world’s largest producer of earthmoving equipment, and other U.S. and Panamanian businesses and consumers are significant. If enacted, a Panamanian Trade Promotion Agreement would immediately eliminate tariffs ranging from three to 15 percent on Caterpillar products, benefiting both the company and its customers.

"In addition to manufacturing, American agriculture and service industries will also benefit from this agreement," said Gales. "Services represent the fastest growing sector of the Panamanian economy and freer trade will further enhance investment opportunities in financial services, real estate, tourism and transportation. For agriculture, the agreement will allow U.S. exporters to maintain and expand their 50% market share in Panama."

Caterpillar has also recently appeared before the U.S. International Trade Commission urging passage of Trade Promotion Agreements in Peru and Colombia. All have compelling economic and national security reasons to be enacted. "Free trade has the ability to help transform these regions by improving living standards because more products could be offered at lower prices," said Gales. "Free trade will also help promote peace and prosperity in these countries, bringing us all closer together."

About Caterpillar

For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2006 sales and revenues of $41.517 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at


Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. In this context, words such as "will" and "expect" or other similar words and phrases often identify forward-looking statements made on behalf of Caterpillar. It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in economic conditions, currency exchange or interest rates; political stability; market acceptance of the company’s products and services; significant changes in the competitive environment; epidemic diseases; changes in law, regulations and tax rates; and other general economic, business and financing conditions and factors described in more detail in the company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 23, 2007. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.