US-Panama free trade agreement coming into fo...

US-Panama free trade agreement coming into force

C. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Ricardo Quijano, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Government of Panama, exchanged letters in which they determined that the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (Agreement) will enter into force on October 31, 2012.

Ambassador Kirk welcomed the decision to have the Agreement enter into force on October 31 and said that under this comprehensive Agreement, Panama would eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, which would promote economic growth, and expand trade between the two countries. This Agreement also provides U.S. firms and workers improved access to customers in Panama’s $22 bill. services market.

After entry into force of the Agreement, Panama will immediately reduce or eliminate tariffs on U.S. industrial goods, currently averaging seven percent, with some tariffs as high as 81%. Over 86% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Panama will become duty-free immediately. U.S. agricultural goods currently face an average tariff of 15%, with some tariffs as high as 260%. Nearly half of U.S. exports of agricultural commodities to Panama will immediately become duty-free, including wheat, barley, soybeans, high-quality beef, bacon, and almost all fruit and vegetable products, with most of the remaining tariffs to be eliminated within 15 years.
Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative