Canada-Panama Free-Trade Agreement signed

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTOWA, ONTARIO — The Canada-Panama Free-Trade Agreement and parallel agreements on labor cooperation and the environment were signed on May 14 by Peter Van Loan, Canada’s minister of international trade, and Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Roberto Henríquez.

“Panama is a dynamic, innovative economy,” Mr. Van Loan said. “Our government’s aggressive free-trade agenda is opening new markets within the Americas, creating opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers and, as we recover from the global economic downturn, securing future prosperity for Canadians and our trading partners.”

The Canada-Panama Free-Trade Agreement will lower tariffs on goods and remove other trade barriers to benefit a broad range of sectors, creating new opportunities for the Canadian agriculture, construction and manufacturing industries.

The F.T.A. will also expand market access for Canadian service providers in areas such as information and communication technology, and engineering, environmental, energy and financial services. Investment provisions in the F.T.A. provide greater protection for Canadian investments in Panama and will ensure greater transparency and security for Canadian investors. In addition, the agreement will secure access to the government procurement market, including for the C$5.4-billion expansion of the Panama Canal and other infrastructure projects.
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