Trade in services has been negotiated in several chapters and includes financial services, shipping, telecommunications, professional services and e-commerce. Panama is a service-based economy, has many competitive service sectors and is known for its ”open regulatory environment for services.” In general, the free trade agreement provides market access obligations for services that go beyond the WTO`s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). With the possible exception of future canal development projects, the USITC believes that the new commitments, while significant changes, will have little economic impact on U.S. suppliers53 As required under the TPA, the USTR conducted an environmental assessment of the potential environmental impact that could be attributable to the free trade agreement. He noted that Panama ”faces a number of challenges in protecting its environment as it supports its economic growth and population growth.” Deforestation, soil degradation, the loss of wildlife and threats to water quality and wetlands are, among other things, serious problems for Panama. The Panama Canal also imposes strict water consumption requirements in the country. Panama responded through the public order process by establishing environmental standards and concluding bilateral and U.S. environmental cooperation agreements.69 These issues were already factors of interference prior to the Panama Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Thus, the environmental assessment states that the marginal impact of the free trade agreement on environmental standards would be small, either with respect to the projected effects on the United States or Panama. The United States and Panama sign a free trade agreement at the Organization of American States in Washington, DC. Panama has been praised for its strong economic growth and commitment to the fight against corruption. In 2015, the United States had a trade surplus with Panama, with exports of $7.8 billion and imports of more than $408 million.
California`s exports to Panama totaled $380.9 million, making it the state`s 40th largest export market. According to the national customs authorities or the Autoridad Nacional de Aduanas, a free trade agreement is a regional or bilateral consensus that helps to promote trade in goods and services between the country`s member states. Similarly, free trade agreements aim to eliminate or reduce tariffs between the signatory parties. They are often monitored by the World Trade Organization (WTO). So-called ”partners of interest.” Inside U.S. trade. Administration points to Panama`s problems as no major obstacles to free trade agreements. March 13, 2009, and Schatz, Joseph J, ”Pending Panama Trade Agreement No Sure Thing as Opponents Mobilize,” CQ Today, March 11, 2009, p.
6. Panama agreed in 2002 to implement the OECD tax standard through agreements on the exchange of tax information, but delayed the conclusion of such agreements until 2011. Panama has prioritized TCB`s needs in its national trade capacity building strategy.