The United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (“TPA Agreement”) went into effect on October 31, 2012, expanding U.S. manufacturers’ access to one of Latin America’s fastest growing economies. In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk emphasized that “Panama will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, which will promote economic growth, and expand trade between our two countries.” He further noted that Panama’s strategic location adds to the importance of the TPA Agreement, as roughly two-thirds of the Panama Canal’s annual transits are bound to or from U.S. ports. Under the Agreement, 86 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Panama became duty-free immediately upon implementation. Remaining tariffs will be phased out over the next ten years.
For more information on how the TPA Agreement benefits manufacturers, visit the USTR’s website.