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CEA Supports U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement

5/21/2009 12:34:00 PM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today commended Congress for its focus on the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement and urged the Senate Finance Committee to move the treaty forward for the sake of American businesses and workers.

The efforts CEA supports include finalizing the Panama trade agreement and moving forward this year with the pending Colombia and South Korea pacts.

“Panama has worked hard to transform itself into a developed country that will be a valuable gateway to Latin America for U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs eager to explore new markets,” said Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of CEA, in a statement. “The Panama trade deal would be a boon for U.S. jobs and give American workers a chance to compete for construction contracts to help modernize the Panama Canal.”

Already 5,600 U.S. companies export to Panama, with more than 4,000 of them smaller businesses, CEA said, nearly half of Panama’s imports come from the United States.

“Without the trade deal, most U.S. businesses must pay back- breaking tariffs on their exports to Panama, while Panama goods sold to the United States enter duty free. The pending trade pact would give the United States a reciprocal arrangement,” according to CEA in its statement.

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the U.S.-Panama trade agreement today.

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