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October 31, 2012

Johanns Statement on Implementation of U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) applauded today’s implementation of the U.S.–Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. The agreement reduces or eliminates tariffs on nearly 90 percent of U.S. goods entering Panama, and nearly half of U.S. agricultural commodities to Panama will immediately become duty-free, including wheat, high-quality beef, barley, soybeans and bacon. Prior to implementation, tariffs on some U.S. goods entering the market in Panama could be more than 80 percent.

“The implementation of this trade deal is welcome news that’s been a long time coming,” Johanns said. “The U.S. is already Panama’s largest trading partner and our market share will only grow now that Nebraska’s ag producers can start selling many of their products there duty free.

“I worked on this and many other trade agreements during my time as Secretary of Agriculture only to see them stalled unnecessarily by partisan politics. Fortunately, progress has been made over the past year when it comes to trade and I hope that will continue. While our economy continues to struggle, Congress and the Administration should promote free trade to enable the sharing of quality American goods with the global community.”

Background:

  • On October 10, 2011, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
  • On October 13, 2011, President Obama signed the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement into law.
  • The agreement provides U.S. companies with new access to Panama’s $22 billion services market.
  • More than 86 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Panama became duty-free today.
    • Including: information technology equipment, agricultural and construction equipment, aircraft and parts, medical and scientific equipment, environmental products, pharmaceuticals, and fertilizers.
  • Nearly half of U.S. agricultural commodities will become duty-free immediately.
    • Including: wheat, barley, soybeans, high-quality beef, bacon, and almost all fruit and vegetable products. 
  • In 2011, U.S. goods exported to Panama totaled $8.2 billion.
  • The U.S. is currently Panama’s largest trading partner.  
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