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NFTC Commends Senate Finance Committee for Holding Hearing on U.S.-Panama FTA
Date: 5/21/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Council Urges Administration to Send Implementing Legislation to Congress, Outline Path Forward on Colombia and South Korea Agreements

Washington, DC - The National Foreign Council (NFTC) today issued a statement applauding the Senate Finance Committee for holding a hearing on the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The NFTC also pressed the Administration to send forth the trade pact for Congressional approval and provide a timeline for action on pending agreements with Colombia and South Korea.

“The NFTC applauds Senators Baucus and Grassley for scheduling today’s hearing and beginning to lay the legislative groundwork for consideration of the Panama FTA,” said NTFC President Bill Reinsch. “As Ambassador Kirk indicated earlier this week, the Administration is working diligently to resolve remaining issues with the Panamanian Government. We urge the President to send the agreement to Congress as soon as possible for bipartisan approval, and to outline next steps on the pending agreements with Colombia and South Korea.”

“With each day that passes without the Panama agreement in place, the United States risks losing important opportunities that can help to grow U.S. exports, our economy and jobs,” said NFTC Vice President for Regional Trade Initiatives Chuck Dittrich. “The multi-billion dollar Panama Canal expansion project, which is slated for completion in 2014, and other projects present numerous opportunities for U.S. businesses in the equipment, financial services and transportation sectors. However, those opportunities could be lost to our competitors if we continue to delay.”

The U.S.-Panama FTA was signed June 28, 2007, and once enacted, will result in the duty-free trade of nearly 90 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to Panama, with other tariffs being phased out over 10 years. In 2008, bilateral trade between the United States and Panama reached roughly $5.3 billion, with $4.9 billion coming from U.S. exports.

About the NFTC

Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years - The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.