The United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and the Minister of Commerce and Industry for Panama, Ricardo Quijano, announced on Monday that the U.S.–Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will enter into force on October 31, 2012. The agreement is expected to increase U.S. dairy exports by $25 million annually.
“IDFA welcomes this long anticipated announcement,” said John Kelly IDFA manager of international affairs. “With exports now so important to our industry, it’s vital to pursue free trade agreements and other policies that will allow for the continued growth of our industry in a global economy.”
Starting on November 1, U.S. dairy manufacturers will gain immediate duty-free access for specified quantities of some products, such as ice cream and cheese. The duty-free access will increase over several years of implementation, leading eventually to full, unrestricted duty-free access into the Panamanian market, which imported more than $33 million worth of U.S. dairy products last year. These imports occurred despite the high tariffs that existed in absence of the free trade agreement.
The U.S.–Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, together with the trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea that entered into force earlier this year, will bring the U.S. dairy industry an anticipated increase of more than $400 million in annual dairy exports.
The United States now exports nearly 14 percent of its milk production, and overseas demand for dairy products is booming, with global supply pressed to keep up. IDFA strongly supports an ambitious trade agenda and other policies that will open additional markets, reduce existing trade barriers and encourage the continued growth of the U.S. dairy industry.
For more information, contact Kelly at email@example.com