More Technical Solutions, Less Policy

Once Panama blocked the entry of animal products from Costa Rica, discussions at the technical level progressed, but when the issue was brought to the political arena, the process to solve the trade conflict stalled.

Monday, September 28, 2020

In early July of this year, Panama informed the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), an agency of the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), about the decision not to extend the authorization for export to a list of Costa Rican establishments previously authorized and that have been commercializing in the Panamanian market for many years.

See "Movements in regional commercial chess"

After Panama unilaterally imposed restrictions, the Costa Rican government decided to notify the World Trade Organization (WTO) about its trade dispute with the neighboring country.

Almost three months after this trade dispute began, the Costa Rican business sector believes that there is no will to solve the dispute.

You may be interested in "Food and Beverage: Trends in Central America"

Daniel Cantillo, president of the National Chamber of Milk Producers (Canaprole), explained to Nacion.com that "... 'the technical part (Senasa-Aupsa, Mida and Health) was carried out and in our opinion on the right track. By raising it to the level of ministers, the Panamanian side has not responded, despite the insistence of the Costa Rican side. This is a negative sign, that politically they do not want to move forward."

Luis Mastroeni, Director of Corporate Relations and Sustainability of Dos Pinos agrees that there is " ... political tendency, although it was initially negotiated at a technical level. 'We consider that, although the technical teams have been negotiating for several months, what we initially thought was a technical issue has now escalated to a political level and is currently in a holding pattern."

Also see "Dairy: Regional Business up to September 2019"

Regarding Costa Rican dairy products, they have been considerably affected by this commercial dispute, since 15% of the sales abroad are destined to the Panamanian market.

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