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Ambassador Kirk Meets with Vice President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela

Today, Ambassador Kirk met with the Vice President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, to discuss the pending U.S.-Panama trade agreement. In testimony before the House Committee on Ways and Means yesterday, Ambassador Kirk announced the Obama Administration’s plans to intensify engagement with Panama to address outstanding issues relating to the agreement as soon as possible this year. Excerpts of his testimony are available here.

Ambassador Kirk and Panamanian Vice President Varela
Ambassador Kirk and Panamanian Vice President Varela

The United States had a $3.99 billion trade surplus with Panama in 2009. Between 2004 and 2009, U.S. exports to Panama grew 142 percent from $1.8 billion in 2004 to $4.3 billion in 2009. The top exports from the U.S. in 2009 were mineral fuel (oil), machinery, and aircraft. The United States is Panama’s largest trading partner.