ASGA- Luther Markwart Washington, DC--On Tuesday December 19, 2006 the United States Trade Representative announced it had concluded negotiations with Panama. The Bush Administration consulted with us throughout the negotiations.
Those consultations were very important to getting an acceptable agreement on sugar. Without getting into the many details, the bottom line is that we will open our market to approximately 7,000 tons of sugar per year with very minimal growth.
We already import approximately 75 percent of all the sugar exported by Panama (37,000+ metric tons) in which Panama get the U.S. price and pays no import duties. A minimal amount of additional sugar, while we keeping all of our tariffs in tact was critically important. Panama is eliminating its import tariffs to raw and refined sugar from the U.S.