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Statement of Amb. Richard T. Crowder, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Regarding the Panama Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

February 13, 2006

"The Government of Panama requested a visit to the United States for a
technical review of our food safety inspection system. We have agreed to this
request and are working to expedite the visit. We believe this visit will give
the Panamanian government an even greater comfort level with our regulatory
system and the safety of U.S. food. "

"This visit by Panama is a part of its ongoing programs to protect human,
animal and plant life and health, consistent with its rights under the Agreement
on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the WTO."

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