Trade agreement with Panama still on hold

In the wake of the contentious debt-ceiling vote, the U.S. Congress headed for its August recess without finalizing action on stalled free trade agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. For U.S. exporters, the hope is that at the very least, a deal with Panama will be cut when Congress reconvenes.

By ·

In the wake of the contentious debt-ceiling vote, the U.S. Congress headed for its August recess without finalizing action on stalled free trade agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. For U.S. exporters, the hope is that at the very least, a deal with Panama will be cut when Congress reconvenes.

We are encouraged by the fact that Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), conducted a business-development mission in Panama on August 7 - 8, 2011, to promote Ex-Im Bank financing available to support sales of U.S. goods and services to private and public-sector buyers.

Panama is the fastest-growing country in Central America, with a GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent in 2010 and strong growth anticipated through 2015. The government of Panama has set ambitious goals for the country’s infrastructure investment that could total more than $10 billion in the next five years, including a $1.5 billion metro line.

As of June 30, 2011, Ex-Im Bank has over $1 billion in exposure in Panama. Ex-Im’s support for Boeing aircraft sales to Copa Airlines, Panama’s flag carrier, constitutes the majority of its financings in the country in recent years, and the Bank is seeking to expand its support beyond the aviation sector.

Hochberg met with Panamanian business leaders to discuss Ex-Im Bank financing available to encourage more companies in Panama to purchase U.S. goods and services. He is focused on expanding use of the Bank’s products for infrastructure development, renewable-energy production, medical and transportation equipment, construction and other sectors.

“From financing U.S. construction equipment for the Pan-American Highway in the 1940s to supporting U.S. aircraft sales to Copa Airlines today, Ex-Im Bank has helped to expand business and tourism in Panama,” said Chairman Hochberg. “The Bank is open for business in all of our programs in Panama. We provide an array of innovative financing tools and resources for Panamanian buyers to purchase U.S. goods and services.”

Commenting on the pending U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement, Hochberg noted, “Ex-Im Bank supports Panamanian companies as productive partners with U.S. exporters for the mutual benefit of our countries. The free trade agreement with Panama will allow the Bank to harness additional opportunities in infrastructure and other key sectors and improve U.S. access to Panama’s $20 billion services market.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Logistics Network Analysis
Logistics network monitoring is an important step in understanding what actually occurs throughout your supply chain.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and the most successful shippers will be those that are able to mitigate their impact on profitability. And, the right technology will play an increasingly vital role in driving efficiencies across the global logistics network.
The Future of Retail Distribution
Navigating the Reverse Supply Chain for Connected Devices
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
IAM, IoT and the Connected Supply Chain
There are three primary models of Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology that CTOs, CSOs, and Supply Chain executives are using to enhance their trading partner communities. While each leverages IAM and the IoT as core components only an “Outside-in” approach truly connects people, systems and things reliably and securely across the supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...

Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...