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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.