U.S. & Panama trade agreement begins October 31

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Ricardo Quijano, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the government of Panama, exchanged letters in which they agreed that the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will enter into force on October 31, 2012.

Upon entry into force of the agreement, Panama will immediately reduce or eliminate tariffs on U.S. industrial goods. Over 86 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Panama will become duty-free immediately.

U.S. agricultural goods currently face an average tariff of 15 percent, with some tariffs as high as 260 percent. Nearly half of U.S. exports of agricultural commodities to Panama will immediately become duty-free with most of the remaining tariffs to be eliminated within 15 years.

Originally posted Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012