Varela visits the White House

On Monday June 19, When the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela enters the Oval office, located in the western side of the White House in the United States; another chapter of an old history between the two countries will take place, whose diplomatic ties were formalized in November of 1903 few days that Panama declared itself as an independent republic.

Almost 114 years have passed since that date, and the United States continues to lead the list of Panama's main trading partners being the first user of the inter-oceanic route ahead of China and Chile.

The US, in fact, leads the group of 134 multinational companies operating in Panama, which in its entirety has registered an estimated investment of USD 820 million and has generated a little more than 5 thousand 500 jobs during the last decade, according to a recent report from the Panamanian Foreign Trade Ministry.

Panama appears in the list of privileged countries to maintain a Trade Promotion Agreement (TPC) with the US, in force since 2012 under the administration of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014). In these almost five years the trade balance has been biased in favor of the US. But the achievement of this trade agreement is a triumph shared with the last five administrations of governments.

 

In 1991, under the government of Guillermo Endara (1989-1994), the Agreement on Trade and Investment was signed, which gave birth to the Trade and Investment Council.

Ten years later, in 2001 Mireya Moscoso's presidency (1999-2004) marked the first talks on a trade agreement within the framework of the meeting of ministers of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Then, 24 months later, on November 18, 2003, negotiations are launched for a trade agreement between Panama and the US.

On December 19, 2006, after 10 intense rounds of negotiations, Panama and the United States formally opened the way for a new stage of work. On June 28, 2007, Alejandro Ferrer, Panamanian Trade Minister, and Susan Schwab, US Trade Representative, signed the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

Four years later, on October 21, 2012, US President Barack Obama signed the FTA in an event held at the Oval Office.

Nine days earlier, on October 12, the treaty was approved by the legislative chambers of the US Congress.

Although the agenda that has been announced for the meeting of Varela-Trump this Monday June 19 is concentrated in matters related to security collaboration, the commercial relationship between old and well-known partners will surely arouse great interest in this first event.

 

Source: Capital Financiero