News / Economy

Obama Confident Trade Deal With Panama Can Proceed

President Barack Obama and Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 28, 2011.
President Barack Obama and Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 28, 2011.

President Barack Obama says he is confident that a free trade agreement between the United States and Panama can move ahead in the U.S. Congress. The president discussed the issue Thursday with Panama’s President, Ricardo Martinelli.

President Obama says Panama has made significant reforms in banking and taxation, removing barriers to U.S. approval of the trade deal.

"We are confident now that a free trade agreement would be good for our country, would create jobs here in the United States, open up new markets with potential for billions of dollars of cross-border trade," he said.

The U.S. and Panama reached agreement on the deal this month, after Panama approved a provision to discourage the use of its banks by those seeking to evade taxes in other countries.

Mr. Obama thanked President Martinelli for his leadership on the issue, and the Panamanian president also expressed confidence that the agreement can move ahead.

"Panama has completed all the necessary steps in order to have a free trade agreement with the U.S.  This new agreement will bring jobs for both countries.  It will also bring growth for the United States and for Panama," he said.

The Obama administration is talking with lawmakers about the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, as well as free trade deals with Colombia and South Korea.

White House officials have not discussed a specific timeline for having Congress approve those pacts.

The deals with Panama and South Korea are ready to be considered on Capitol Hill.  

The agreement with Colombia can move forward when the administration is satisfied that the government in Bogota is meeting specific goals as part of an “action plan,” which mostly relates to workers’ rights and protection of labor union activists.

Some lawmakers oppose including all three trade agreements in a single legislative package.

President Obama said he and Mr. Martinelli also discussed a regional security deal, in which Panama would play a key role in stopping the flow of illegal drugs from Central and South America.

"We discussed how we can cooperate together, not only in the interdiction side, but also in helping other countries in the region to build up their capacity.  And we think that Panama is going to be critical to the Central American Security Partnership that I have announced previously," Mr. Obama said.

That partnership, announced in March, is intended to protect citizens in the Americas from organized crime, gangs and drug-fueled violence.

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7735
JPY
USD
107.03
GBP
USD
0.6155
CAD
USD
1.1011
INR
USD
60.954

Rates may not be current.