Given the duration of the TPC with the U.S. and the forthcoming implementation of the Agreement with the EU, there is a need to understand how to protect a product whose marketing is affected by these treaties.
Prensa.com reports that "Producers and manufacturers in the country have several lifeguards or ‘safeguard measures’ to fall back on in the case that imports from the United States (U.S.) covered under the Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) impair any local production. "
With the coming into force of the Trade Promotion Agreement, the Panamanian market becomes more attractive to American cattle farms.
Such is the view of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), whose spokesmen explained that the tariffs went to 0% for certain cuts, while others still maintain a 30% rate that will be gradually reduced to 0%.
It opens up opportunities for some and leaves others doubting the real opportunities to compete with the production of U.S. goods, especially agricultural ones.
Laprensa.com.pa reports that the entry into force of the TPC eliminates in Panama "tariffs for 86% of U.S. industrial and consumer goods, and the remaining ones will be reduced gradually. The U.S yesterday signed the document which excludes Panama as a beneficiary of several U.S. trade programs. "
After Panama passed modifications to laws on patents, dispute resolution and intellectual property, representatives from both countries announced that on October 31 the treaty will come into force.
The free trade agreement, ratified by the U.S. Congress should have come into effect on October first, but the lack of adoption of some laws in Panama meant that the date was pushed back to 31 October.
The recent adoption of legislation necessary for the entry into force of the TPA with the U.S. includes opening the gates for the installation of large retailers.
Panama's Constitution expressly reserves retail trade for Panamanians, because of this, the method found to align themselves with agreements made for the Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) with the United States, was to modify the rules for companies involved in wholesale trade, introducing the classification of "multi-service businesses."
The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture in Panama has expressed concern over the effects of the forthcoming entry into force of the FTA with the U.S. in an agricultural sector which has no investment incentives.
A statement from the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIYAP) reads:
The government has proposed bills relating to Copyright, Intellectual Property Protection of New Varieties of Plants, among other things.
An article in Laestrella.com.pa reports that "The Government of Panama has adopted concrete measures towards enactment of a Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) to be signed with the United States scheduled for October, after four bills were approved yesterday, Tuesday 14 August, in the Cabinet, including one related to Copyright and related Rights, and introducing amendments to the Copyright Act, informed the Secretary of State. "
The Panamanian Superintendency of Banks is adjusting its guidelines in order to comply with the requirements of the Trade Promotion Agreement with the United States.
The recent resolution No. 0043 of August 7, 2012, in its first article states that all draft agreements and resolutions of the General Superintendency of Banks, will meet the transparency requirements required by Article 12.11 of the TPA with the USA. These projects will be published in advance so that the people involved in them can make inquiries or comments on them.
How insurers are affected by the new regime requiring reports to the U.S. government from foreign financial institutions.
An article in Martesfinanciero.com reports that in Panama, "those involved in the sector are awaiting the outcome of an agreement between Panama and the U.S., so as to 'adhere to a regulation that has not been signed yet", says Dino Mon, vice president of Mapfre Panama. "
The Trade Promotion Agreement signed between the U.S. and Panama provides that "any retail business may participate in the local market."
An article in Laestrella.com.pa reports that the Deputy Minister of International Trade Negotiations, Diana Salazar, said: "There is a letter attached to the Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) that discusses retail trade, where companies complying with the requirements may operate in the country. "
After years of decline and closure of companies, the garment industry in Panama sees in the trade promotion agreement with the U.S., its passport to recovery.
Panama's textile exports to the U.S. amounted to only $2.4 million in 2011.
The commercial treaty with the United States could be a golden opportunity for the industry, which contributes 5% of GDP, even with the U.S.’s economic weakness and competition from other Central American countries and Colombia.