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The U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement

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Congressional rept.

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On June 28, 2007, the United States and Panama signed a free trade agreement FTA after two and a half years and 10 rounds of negotiations. Negotiations formally concluded on December 16, 2006, with an understanding that changes to labor, environment, and intellectual property rights chapters would be made pursuant to future congressional input. These changes were agreed to and the FTA was signed in time to be considered under Trade Promotion Authority TPA legislation, which expired on July 1, 2007. TPA allows Congress to consider certain trade agreement implementing bills under expedited procedures. Panamas legislature ratified the FTA 58 to 4 on July 11, 2007, but neither the 110th nor the 111th Congress took up the agreement. Eventually, the 112th Congress considered the FTA implementing bill. On July 7, 2011, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees held simultaneous mock markups, where they informally approved draft implementing bills. On October 3, 2011, the Obama Administration transmitted final implementing legislation and supporting documents to both houses, as required under TPA. Following committee action, on October 12, 2011, the House agreed to the implementing bill H.R. 3079 300-129, followed by the Senate 77-22. President Obama signed the implementing bill into law on October 21, 2011 P.L. 112-43, 125 Stat. 427, but the FTA would not enter into force for another year. Panama required that time to complete changes in law necessary to bring it into compliance with the provisions of the FTA. On October 22, 2012, the United States Trade Representative USTR exchanged notes with Panama providing for entry into force of the FTA. President Obama implemented the agreement by proclamation on October 29, 2012, and the FTA entered into force on October 31, 2012. This report covers issues related to the U.S.-Panama FTA from the beginning of the negotiations in April 2004 until the FTA entered into force on October 31, 2012.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

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