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United States and Panama Hold Inaugural Meeting of the Labor Affairs Council under the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement

Panama City, Panama – Government officials from the United States and Panama this week convened the inaugural meeting of the Labor Affairs Council (LAC) under the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.  The Council works to promote labor rights and enhance technical cooperation on labor matters, such as labor inspections and subcontracting arrangements.

Panamanian Vice Minister of Labor Dario Falcon Piraquive and Panamanian Vice Minister of Commerce and Industry Diana Salazar, led council discussions on behalf of Panama, while U.S. participants included U.S. Ambassador to Panama Jonathan Farrar, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Labor Affairs Carlos Romero, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central America and the Dominican Republic Leslie O’Connor, and Associate Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Eric Biel.  The U.S. delegation also included other representatives from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State.

At the LAC meeting, officials reviewed implementation of the Labor Chapter of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.  The Council discussed the labor obligations of the agreement as well as areas of technical cooperation and capacity building, including on the topics of promoting fundamental labor rights, improving labor inspections and monitoring of temporary work contracts and subcontracting arrangements, and reducing child labor.

The LAC meeting concluded with a public session, in furtherance of the Labor Affairs Council’s commitment to a participatory process.  To view the United States-Panama Labor Affairs Council Joint Statement, please click here.

Later this week, U.S. and Panamanian officials will convene the inaugural bilateral environmental meetings under the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement and Environmental Cooperation Agreement .  These talks will further deepen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Panama while charting a path forward to continue working to preserve and protect the environment.