Reuters: Panama, U.S. to resume trade talks
Panama and the United States will restart free trade talks on Friday, almost a year after they broke down over agricultural disputes, Reuters reported Tuesday.
According to Panama Trade Minister Alejandro Ferrer, 'Panamanian worries over U.S. food safety levels have been assuaged since the last round of talks in January,' the news agency reported. Panama's decision to expand its canal also helped bridge the gap between the two nations.
Talks between the two nations began three years ago, but progress has been slow, the news story said. The Central American nation relies heavily on revenue from its canal and has chosen to talk directly to the United States rather than join into the Central American Free Trade Agreement with its neighboring nations.
Reuters said Panama's exports to the United States are valued at more than $400 million, about half of the country’s total exports.