Canada–Panama Free Trade Agreement
The Canada–Panama Free Trade Agreement is a free trade agreement between Canada and Panama that went into effect April 1, 2013. The agreement was concluded on August 11, 2009 by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and signed by the two countries' trade ministers on May 14, 2010. The agreement was approved by both countries' parliaments by December 2012, allowing the agreement to come into effect. The agreement eliminates Panamanian tariffs on 90% of goods from Canada. The remaining 10% will be phased out within the next 10 years. Canada will remove 99% of its tariffs on goods from Panama. Canada will keep tariffs on some imports of sugar, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Panama will end its ban on beef from Canada which was initiated after cases of mad cow disease were found in Canada in 2003.
In 2008, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Panama totaled $149.1 million. Trade has increased by 48 percent from 2007. Canada made up $127.9 million of total trade between the two countries, while Panama made up the remaining $21.2 million.
Both countries parliament needed to approve the agreement before it could come into force. The Canadian opposition parties had considered stalling the agreement over the issue of Panama being considered a tax haven.
The agreement was negotiated over four meetings. The first negotiation started in October 2008. The negotiations followed two exploratory meeting over a possible agreement.
In 1998, Panama and Canada signed the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). This agreement placed rights and obligations on foreign direct investments between the two countries. In 2006, FDI in Panama by Canadian companies was $111 million.
On May 14, 2010, Canada's International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan, along with Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Roberto Henríquez, signed the Canada–Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as well as parallel agreements on labour cooperation and the environment.
On June 11, 2012 a bill to implement the trade, environmental, and labour agreements was introduced in the Canadian parliament as Bill C-24.
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- Deslongchamps, Alexandre (2009-08-11). "Harper, Martinelli Sign Canada-Panama Free Trade Pact". Bloomberg news. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Negotiations toward a Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement". Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- Deslongchamps, Alexandre; Eric Sabo (2008-08-14). "Opposition Lawmakers May Stall Canada-Panama Free Trade Accord". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2009-08-16.