Panama this week completed all of its domestic steps necessary to implement a bilateral free trade agreement with the United States, clearing the way for both sides to exchange diplomatic notes establishing a date for the FTA to enter into force.
Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on Oct. 5 signed three laws related to FTA implementation, which were published in the country's official gazette the same day. On Oct. 10, Martinelli signed two additional measures related to FTA implementation: a law that made changes to Panama's copyright regime, and an executive decree adjusting the way Panama administers its tariff-rate quotas for agricultural products. Both were published the same day in Panama's official gazette.
U.S. and Panamanian officials last week said they expected the FTA to enter into force later this month (Inside U.S. Trade, Oct. 5). A spokesman for Panama's commerce ministry said that Panama has requested a meeting in Washington next week to exchange the diplomatic notes needed to bring the FTA into force.