Under Secretary of Agriculture for US Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Alexis Taylor, emphasized that the TPC cannot be seen as independent pillars, like agriculture, when the issues are complex.
The undersecretary of agricultural trade and foreign affairs of the United States of America (USA), Alexis Taylor, confirmed that the next meetings of the United States of America with Panama in the trade promotion agreement (TPC) will be for implementation and not for renegotiation. .
“Next month, the Agriculture Committee should participate in one of these bilateral discussions. These will be focused on implementation and not on renegotiation, but mechanisms to see how implementation is carried out by both sides,” Taylor told Panamanian media.
“Next month the Agriculture Committee should participate in one of these bilateral discussions. These are focused on implementation and not on renegotiation, but there are mechanisms to see how the implementation is carried out by both sides,” said TAYLOR.
Helper of agricultural trade and foreign agricultural business
The Undersecretary visited Panama for a trade mission, which he led from March 19 to 23 in Central America, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, with a delegation of 26 businessmen from the agricultural sector and US producing organizations. The purpose of this art mission was to explore. business opportunities in the region and to strengthen commercial ties between Panama and the US, the US Embassy said in a statement.
While staying in Panama, Taylor met with the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo; Minister of Agricultural Development, Augusto Valderrama; Vice Minister of Agriculture Development, Alexis Pineda; Minister of Commerce and Industry, Federico Alfaro; The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Juan Carlos Sosa and the Chancellor of Panama, Janaina Tewaney. In this meeting, we discussed the initiatives under the TPC and the capacity development program in the agricultural sector of Panama, which currently provides training for Panamanian producers to increase their export capacity.
In a press conference, the Undersecretary of Agriculture Trade and Agricultural Affairs stated that the TPC treaty is a topic that has had many discussions since it arrived in Panama.
He said he understands the sensitivity of Panamanian producers about the reduction of some products, but he emphasized that the TPC is broader than just agriculture. “If we start looking at these very particular issues, we can end up breaking the foundation of the whole peace,” Taylor said.
Carlos Pitty, president of the National Association of Pork Producers, commented that he will continue to request a review of the “letter” and “spirit” of the TPC to find alternatives for the four Panamanian lines that account for 50% of the agricultural value in Panama, including pork.
“Another problem is the TPC and another is the reduction of the drop. We hold the US position, but we do not share. The treaty is a negotiation between two and not one party,” said Pietas.
For pork producers exporting to the US market is a “lie” because of technical and health regulations, which only say “the country is not ready”.
“That’s a joke that’s going to happen in the US, because Panama’s production is small compared to the North American country. What remains to be achieved in this negotiation is to create unemployment in the country, for the benefit of US producers,” criticized Pity.
“We are moved by the fact that senior representatives of the US Government come to Panama with commercial importers, but never with the national producers’ unions, who want to talk to see if we can find common ground,” he added.
According to Taylor, the TPC helped bring the two regions closer together and increase economic growth. On the other hand, he mentioned, the US invested $13 billion in Panama; the greatest pilgrimage took place in Panama; There are American businesses looking to make an investment.
On the other hand, he said, Panamanian producers have been given access to the US market with the free entry of 110 lines. There are three programs for the development of capacities in the Panamanian agricultural sector that are currently being established for Panamanian producers. Panama has begun the process of exporting meat to the US.
Taylor added that only Panama exports only 10 of the 100 lines available. Some of the exported products are sugar, bananas, coffee and various types of cucumbers. Other non-agricultural businesses have benefited from the TPC. “We are mandated to work with Panama and its producers so that these resources of the lines left out by others are fulfilled, because our focus is that they can use all aspects of this agreement,” he said.
As for the business of some Panamanian producers that, if they enter the Chinese market then they cannot enter the United States, the undersecretary stated that despite the fact that both countries are often great competitors, “even great markets” between them. other countries.
“We will encourage other regions to do what they need to do to increase the support they need for their farmers,” Taylor said.
Panama and the United States signed the TPC on June 28, 2007 and entered into force on October 31, 2012.