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Washington, D.C. – Today United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk sent the following letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means regarding the next step for the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
Letter from United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk:
On February 9, 2011, I testified before the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives that the President had directed me to intensify engagement with Panama to resolve the outstanding issues related to the United States — Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (the “Agreement”) as quickly as possible this year. In the following days, I met with Panama’s Vice President, Juan Carlos Varela, and afterwards our officials agreed upon a set of actions that, when completed, would ready the Agreement for Congressional consideration. Panama has now fulfilled its commitments regarding those actions.
I am pleased to report to you that the Office of the United States Trade Representative has completed its preparatory work on the Agreement and stands ready to begin technical discussions with Members of Congress on the draft implementing bill and draft Statement of Administrative Action. We hope our discussions to review these documents can commence without delay so that we can work together to bring the benefits of this Agreement home to American businesses, farmers and workers.