In the 112th U.S. Congress, the rise of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives has given rise to new pressures to approve the three fast trade agreements underway (Colombia, Panama and South Korea). Finally, in October 2011, President Obama presented the three trade pacts to Congress and they were quickly passed. On October 12, 2011, the U.S. S.-Panama TPA was passed in the House of Representatives by 300 votes to 129 (H.R. 3079) and by 77 votes to 22 in the Senate (p. 1643). [10] President Obama signed the pact on October 21, 2011 (P.L. 112-43, 125 Stat. 427) and the agreement entered into force on October 31, 2012. [11] The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) entered into force on October 31, 2012.

The TPA is a comprehensive free trade agreement that removes tariffs and removes barriers to U.S. services, including financial services. It also includes important disciplines in customs management and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, investment, telecommunications, electronic commerce, intellectual property rights, labour protection and the environment. The free trade agreement would create a Trade Capacity Building Committee (TCB) to help Panama move to freer trade with the United States. In general, the Committee`s mission is to provide technical assistance and coordinate funding in order to accelerate the transition period, in the hope of increasing the benefits of trade while minimizing adaptation costs. The TCB committee would help coordinate technical assistance from the United States, regional and multilateral organizations to help Panama meet its obligations under the free trade agreement. Some members of Congress remain skeptical of the provisions of the May 10 agreement. See U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Finance, United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Loi, Report together with Additional Views, Report to accompany p. 1643, 112th Cong., 2d sess., September 20, 2012, p.rept.

112-224 (Washington: GPO, 2012), pp. 54-57. The U.S. imports relatively little from Panama, which is not due to the growth of the U.S. trade surplus. Most imports are primary products; 21% are seafood, most often fresh fish and shrimp. Repaired products account for one-third of total imports from Panama30 Trade in raw materials includes precious metals (mainly gold), fruit, sugar and coffee, which together account for one-third of all U.S. imports. Unlike Central American countries where the United States…