The U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement
President Obama is committed to pursuing an ambitious trade agenda that will help grow our economy and support good jobs for U.S. workers by opening new markets. To achieve that objective, we seek to provide a level playing field that creates economic opportunities for U.S. workers, companies, farmers, and ranchers, and that ensures our trading partners have acceptable working conditions and respect fundamental labor rights. As part of this broader trade agenda, the Obama Administration has worked closely with the government of Panama to resolve outstanding issues related to the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
Yesterday, a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) went into effect between the United States and Panama. The TIEA will permit the two countries to improve their tax information exchange transparency networks globally. The Government of Panama has also taken a series of legislative and administrative actions to further strengthen its labor laws and enforcement. The completion of action on transparency and labor clears the way for the Obama Administration to begin discussions with Members of Congress about the draft implementing bill for the Agreement.
Panama is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, expanding 6.2 percent in 2010, with similar annual growth forecast through 2015. The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will support American jobs, expand markets, and enhance U.S. competitiveness by eliminating tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports and expanding trade between our two countries.