US – Panama fair trade agreement has begun

As of Wednesday, October 31 United States and Panama are in an active fair trade agreement, a year after President Obama signed this historic bill (which had its start in the 2007 Bush administration).

As Panama is home to the Panama Canal, the US has long been working with Panama. Exactly what benefits to each country will be remains to be seen. (There are many theories, projections of benefits, and worries on the US side.) The US gov’t website says, “The U.S.–Panama trade agreement will support American jobs, expand markets and enhance U.S. competitiveness.” it also says,”Now more than ever, America’s ability to create jobs here at home depends on our ability to export goods and services to the world….”

I will be entering Panama as this agreement is new so I wonder whether I will hear of it from Panamanians and in shops.

What I do know already from my travels in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica is how popular American brands are. I was surprised, but I should not have been considering how many KFC (etc) places I saw in the UK, Australia and Asia in the ’80s. It is only that the American brands cost so much in Central America and as way out of proportion to incomes.


Official US Government page about this agreement

UPDATE 1-US Bush-era trade deal with Panama goes into force