CANADA-PANAMA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN CONCLUDED

On August 11, 2009, Canada concluded negotiations on Free Trade, Labour Cooperation and Environment Agreements with Panama.

When the agreements receive Royal Assent and the implementing legislation has been passed, the Canada-Panama FTA will eliminate tariffs on over 90 per cent of the goods imported from Panama. Most of the remaining tariffs would be eliminated within five to 15 years.

Panama is the fastest growing economy in Central America. In 2008, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Panama totalled $149.1 million, with Canadian exports accounting for $127.9 million and imports totalling $21.3 million.

In 2008, Canada’s imports from Panama consisted mainly of mineral fuels and oils, fruits and nuts, fish and seafood products, spices, coffee, and mineral ores. Top exports to Panama included machinery, diesel trucks, electrical and electronic equipment, flight simulators, pharmaceuticals, lentils and frozen potato products.

FTA discussions began in October 2008; Panama has FTAs in force with Taiwan (2004), El Salvador (2002), Singapore (2006) and Chile (2008). Panama has also negotiated an FTA with the United States (US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, pending U.S. Congressional approval).

When the implementing legislation is prepared, it will be tabled in the House of Commons for 21 sitting days.

Status of all trade negotiations and agreements is available from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada at:
international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/index.aspx

Additional information concerning this and other recent developments is available from our technical consulting group