The U.S. – Panama Free Trade Agreement and you

This post is also available in: Spanish

By: Staff at Panama Offshore Legal Services
E-Mail: info@pols.com.pa || Phone: (507) 227 – 6645

Bob and Deborah are a married couple who came from California to live in Panama. Their immigration visa allows them to start a Panama company. They consulted with an English speaking Panama lawyer about their options. Their lawyer presented a very viable option to import goods and products to Panama from the U.S. The reason why this is a good option is because of the U.S. – Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that allows both countries to import and export many goods and products import tariff free.

The FTA is a comprehensive free trade agreement that resulted in significant liberalization of trade in goods and services, including financial services.

Since the FTA went into full effect on October 31, 2012, sales prices for U.S. products sold in Panama dropped significantly. U.S. fruits, dairy products, liquor, TV’s, computers, mobile devices, and other consumer goods all experienced price reductions in Panama.

In addition, Bob and Deborah could also export Panama goods to the U.S. like the beautiful Guna Indian mola clothing, made of colorful cotton fabric panels and thread. Other Panama-made goods that can be exported to the U.S. include fish, shellfish, meats, poultry, rice, beans, dairy products and fruits.

The U.S. government’s website dedicated to exports describes this FTA as follows:

“Tariffs will drop to 0% for U.S. exports to Panama. While Panama’s tariffs were already low at an average of 7% for industrial goods and 15% for agricultural products, the 0% tariffs will give U.S. exporters several advantages. This will allow U.S. exporters to be able to drop their prices to win the business. The elimination of the 7% to 15% tariffs will result in better profit margins. The paperwork will also become simpler by not having to deal with duties when exporting goods to Panama with a simple document of origin.”

Thanks to this FTA, Bob and Deborah can start an import and/or export business here with the help of a knowledgeable Panama law firm.

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