Movements in Regional Commercial Chess

The blockade to the entrance of products of animal origin coming from Costa Rica to the Panamanian market, has derived in a commercial conflict in which both countries have their share of responsibility, since the authorities of both nations advocate for protectionist measures.

Monday, August 24, 2020

On July 10, 2020, Panama informed the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica (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.

Upon learning of the restrictions imposed, the Costa Rican government decided to notify the World Trade Organization (WTO) about its trade dispute with the neighboring country.
This commercial battle is being fought in a context of protectionism on the part of both countries. In the case of Panama, President Cortizo said in 2019 that during his administration he would review the trade agreements with the United States, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. On the Costa Rican side, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) have spoken out against the opening of trade.

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

Ronald Saborio, former Costa Rican ambassador to the WTO told Elfinancierocr.com that Renato Alvarado, head of MAG "... advocates for protectionist measures to favor national farmers, the official expressed his 'strong opposition' to the opening of trade on MAG's Facebook profile on May 2. There, he stated that 'the legal frameworks for trade defense make it impossible to apply instruments for a real protection of national production."

Saborio added that "... It could be said that the borders with Panama are growing because the worst scenario for two neighboring countries in trade is that both are protectionist. Unlike years past when Costa Rica was the force in the region pushing for harmonization of rules, transparency and opening of markets, Costa Rica has become a protectionist country and Central America is not advancing as before towards economic integration."

Costa Rica has become a protectionist country and that can have an effect on the countries' attitude towards Costa Rican products, an example is the case of the Mexican avocado, says Saborío.

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