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
Unlock the Value of Your Supply Chain Through Embedded Analytics
Learn how embedded analytics can provide deeper supply chain intelligence and help you extract maximum value from data for your supply chain operations
Download Today!
From the May 2017 Issue
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management, but what sort of technologies fall under these broad terms, and how will they change the management capabilities at our disposal? To find out, we talked to some noted supply chain analysts, consultants and technology executives and gathered six digital trends to watch.
Transportation Trends and Best Practices: The Battle for the Last Mile
2017 Technology Roundtable: Are we closer to “Intelligent” Logistics?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Going Beyond Rate Negotiations for Logistics Cost Savings
The pressure to reduce cost is a fundamental part of every organization today leaving many supply chain professionals constantly renegotiating rates. This webcast examines four areas that may hold untapped savings potentials and even help organizations negotiate better rates.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The Evolution of the Digital Supply Chain
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management,...
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...

LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...