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Panama questions FTA with US

Prensa Latina, Cuba

Panama Questions FTA with US

6 December 2005

Panama, Dec 6 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian farmers on Monday called for a mass demonstration December 11 to analyze the state of the negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which their government plans to sign with the United States.

The main trade unions in the Union of Agricultural Producers of Panama (UNPAP), said that they will meet in the western province of Los Santos on December 11 to discuss the consequences of signing a FTA with the United States.

UNPAP has declared itself on alert after receiving information about an imminent end of negotiations between the two countries and the signing of an agreement in Washington in January.

The National Front for Economic and Social Rights expressed fear about a possible FTA, which they say would hinder Panamanian commercial relations.

The two governments must still close deals in eight agricultural domains that are considered sensitive for Panamanian economy: meat, pork, milk, corn, rice, beans, vegetables and sorghum.

Panama exports 800 million dollars in goods to the United States and imports 1.2-billion-dollar-worth of products from the North American country.