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Washington, D.C. – Today, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman welcomed growing exports for U.S. businesses, farmers, and ranchers on the first anniversary of the entry into force of the U.S.-Panama trade agreement. U.S. manufacturers substantially increased exports of primary metal manufactures, fabricated metal products, processed food, petroleum and coal products, and apparel and apparel accessories, while farmers and ranchers saw strong export growth, including in soybeans, wheat, pork, beef, dairy products, and potato products.
“As we mark one year of expanded trade between the United States and Panama, American businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers are already seeing benefits thanks to the lowering of barriers achieved by the U.S.-Panama trade agreement,” Ambassador Froman said. “The potential for trade in goods and services as well as investment between our two countries due to the trade agreement is significant. We appreciate the active engagement of the Panamanian government during the last year and will continue to work closely with them to ensure that the agreement is fully enforced and the benefits continue to accrue to both countries.”
U.S. goods exports to Panama totaled $9.2 billion, up 17 percent for November 2012-August 2013 compared with the same previous period. In terms of agricultural products, the United States was already Panama’s largest supplier, and the improved access afforded by the trade agreement has opened the market even further. From November 2012 through August 2013, U.S. exports of agricultural products to Panama were up nearly 18 percent from the comparable previous period.
The U.S. Congress approved the U.S.-Panama pact on October 12, 2011. President Obama signed it on October 21, 2011, and the agreement entered into force on October 31, 2012. Over 87 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products and more than half of agricultural exports to Panama are already duty free under the agreement, with remaining tariffs phased out over defined time periods.