The Panama Free Trade Agreement

Money laundering has no place in trade agreements.

Contact Congress to Oppose the Panama Agreement
Who says Panama is a Tax Haven?

Panama’s economy thrives on banking secrecy, and its “comparative advantage” rests on the ease with which U.S. companies can create subsidiaries there to evade U.S. taxes. A Government Accountability Office study identified Panama as the only current or prospective FTA partner listed on all of the major tax-haven watchdog lists.

Read our latest on the Panama FTA

Recent Statements & Materials
Panama’s Ratification of Loophole-Ridden Tax Agreement Does Not Make Trade Deal Acceptable Global Trade Watch, April 14, 2011
Table of Foreign Investor Claims Under Existing FTAs Global Trade Watch, April 2011
Panama-Colombia-Korea Factsheet Global Trade Watch, April 2011
Setting Up a Shell Corporation: As Easy as 1-2-3 [YouTube video]

What Elected Officials Have Said in the Past
Letter from 55 House Members to Speaker Pelosi, Opposing the FTA May 21, 2009
Opposition Letter from 54 House Members to President Obama February 26, 2009
Senator Snowe (R-Maine) Opposes the Panama FTA May 21, 2009
Barbara Lee Urges Leadership to Renegotiate Panama FTA California Chronicle, May 21, 2009
John Kerry: Let’s close tax evader loopholes in Panama May 21, 2009
Rep. Doggett and Senator Levin say delay to the FTA May 20, 2009
Representative Michaud: Stop Pursuit of Panama Trade Pact March 24, 2009
Rep Gene Green: Opposition letter to Panama FTA May 19, 2009
Rep. Phil Hare Free trade must be fair trade September 19, 2007

Past Letters On Panama FTA
CTC Board Opposition Letter on the Panama Trade Agreement
“On behalf of our more than twelve million combined members, we are writing to express our strong opposition to the Panama “Free Trade Agreement” (FTA). This pact reflects the unsuccessful ending point of the past administration’s trade policy and should not serve as the starting point for the newCongress and administration.”
Also posted at Progressive Democrats of America on March 9th, 2009

Joint letter from 355 Diverse U.S. Organizations to Ambassador Ron Kirk
“Panama’s economy thrives on banking secrecy and money laundering. Panama’s ‘comparative advantage’ is the ease with which U.S. companies can create local subsidiaries there for the purpose of dodging U.S. taxes.”
March 18th, 2009

Letter from AFL-CIO and major organizations to Ambassador Ron Kirk
“[The] May 10, 2007 compromise did not resolve all of our concerns with regard to those modified chapters . . . we urge you to not bring any of the pending trade agreements to Congress, or negotiate new ones, until a comprehensive review of the impacts of our current trade model on development, workers rights and the environment have been conducted and any necessary changes made”
March 24th, 2009

Joint Letter from Environmental Groups May 14, 2009
Congressional Testimony of Thea Lee, AFL-CIO May 21, 2009
Letter from the International Machinists April 28, 2009
Letter from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters April 23, 2009

Dear Colleague Letter on AIG and U.S. Trade Policy
From The Honorable Michael H. Michaud
March 29th, 2009

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
Resolution Opposing Expansion of Nafta/Cafta Trade Models to Panama August 4-8, 2008

Change To Win
Workers Oppose Bush-Congress Trade Deal May 11, 2007

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Vote Against the Panama Free Trade Agreements August 2, 2007

The United States Needs a New Pro-Environment Trade Policy
Amazon Watch, American Lands Alliance, ForestEthics, Greenpeace USA, Rainforest Action Network, from October 5, 2007

U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP)
USLEAP continues to oppose the Panama agreement

Organización Nacional Agropecuario of Panamá (ONAGRO)
Opposition to the U.S.- Panama FTA
September 2007

Opposition Alerts
Citizens Trade Campaign
Ask Your Representative to Publicly Oppose the Panama Trade Agreement

Tell Congress to Say ‘NO’ to the Panama FTA

Global Trade Watch
Tell Congress No FTA with Tax Haven Panama

Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition
Postcard Sample Alert to Congress and Senate

Union Review
No Panama Free Trade Agreement

Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Oppose Bush’s Hangover Trade Deal with Panama

Washington Fair Trade Campaign
Tell Members of Congress To Oppose Panama Trade Agreement

Peace Action Maine
Call Today to Oppose the Panama FTA

Global Trade Watch
AIG Sues U.S. for Back Taxes Dodged in Panama Tax Haven Fair Trade Site
Oppose the Panama Free Trade Agreement

Nicaragua Network
Stop the Panama Free Trade Agreement!

Cultural Survival — Crisis in Panama
Naso villagers plead for help

Panamanian National Agrarian Organization asks Congress to Oppose FTA
September 13, 2007

Oppose Expansion of NAFTA/CAFTA
National Latino Congreso, October 6, 2007

Bush’s trade pact won’t fly By JAMES P. HOFFA
Facing Progressive Pressure, Obama Backs Off Panama FTA David Sirota, May 22, 2009
An agreement that isn’t good for anyone: The Panama Trade … Daily Kos, ‎May 20, 2009‎
One more tax loophole to close By Arthur Stamoulis on May 05, 2009
Changing Debate Over Panama By David Sirota on 5/7/09
Ending Corporate Tax Havens, While Pushing Pact to Preserve Them By David Sirota on 5/4/09
No to Panama Free Trade Agreement Kari Koch, Northeast Portland, April 07, 2009
Hoffa To Bush: Drop Free Trade Forbes, December 16, 2007
Why are we negotiating with a Tax Haven? By Peter Riggs, Tax Justice Network in August 2007

Public Citizen
Panama FTA Would Undermine U.S. Efforts to
Stop Offshore Tax-Haven Abuse and Regulate Risky Financial Conduct

Christian Aid
Death and Taxes: the true toll of tax dodging

Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development
Economic Transparency: Curtailing the Shadow Financial System

US State Department country report
Money laundering and financial crimes for Panama

GAO report referencing Panama tax secrecy

Global Justice for Animals and the Environment.
Endangering Animals and Habitat for Corporate Profit

International Relations and Security Network: Panama City, A Smuggler’s Haven
“Panama City Is Where Globalization Meets The Black Market”

Human rights violation petition filed in the World Court in March 2009
Richard Lehman v. Panama

IBEW Legislative Fact Sheet on Trade
August 2007

News Archive

Key House Republican Plans Agressive Push for Free Trade Deals Dow Jones, November 8, 2010
Panama Recognizes Slim Chances of Near Term FTA Ratification August 26, 2009
White House Puts Panama FTA on Back Burner June 1, 2009
White House Won’t Pay Political Price for Panama FTA Inside US Trade Analysis on end of the six week trade frenzy May 27, 2009
Facing Progressive Pressure, Obama Backs off Panama Free Trade Agreement May 22, 2009

U.S. trade chief tries to allay lawmakers’ worries Reuters, July 8, 2009
Lawmakers ask Obama to put off Panama trade deal Associated Press, May 20, 2009
Obama delays for Panama trade plan after unions object Bloomberg, May 21, 2009
AFL-CIO Opposes Panama Deal, Calls for Trade Policy Review
Facing Progressive Pressure, Obama Backs Off Panama FTA David Sirota, May 22, 2009
Tax Evasion in Panama Becomes Roadblock to Trade Pact With U.S. Bloomberg on May 1, 2009
Opposition to US-Panama FTA gains strength in Congress The Panama News on May 1 2009
Panama a poster child for tax evasion The Panama Star on March 6th, 2009

Tax Havens Hamper Development in Poor Countries PBS NewsHour online on April 15, 2009
Sander Levin Lists Obstacles on Panama Passage Reuters on Wed Mar 11, 2009
Panama holds out against campaign to end era of banking secrecy The Times online on April 13, 2009
Panama Tax Fix Likely To Fall Short Of TIEA, July Vote Target Slipping Inside U.S. Trade on 5/1/2009
A.I.G. Sues U.S. for Return of $306 Million in Tax Payments New York Times on March 20, 2009
Lawyer frauds in Panama casting shadow in Canada Panama Star on March 24, 2009
Roni Deutch: The Tax Lady Blog
Tax Haven Questions Could Trip Up Panama Trade Pact on April 22, 2009
Panama’s FARC links confirmed Panama Star on April 22, 2009

Bush lobbies Congress to pass free-trade deals Associated Press, May 23, 2008
A man, a plan, a free trade agreement Politico, May 6, 2008
Bush vows to help Panama clinch free trade agreement AFP, May 6, 2008
Panama FTA: Uncertain Fate Latin Business Chronicle, April 21, 2008
Panama workers, police clash; hundreds arrested Reuters, February 15, 2008
Panama unions clash with police over shooting death Reuters, February 13, 2008
Bush lobbies for more free trade deals AFP, January 29, 2008
Bush to Pitch Free Trade Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2008
NYT Column Supporting Free Trade Draws Sharp Criticism Yonhap News Agency, January 21, 2008
Bush, Congress set for clashes over China, trade Reuters, January 18, 2008

2007 CTC Statement on Panama Free Trade Agreements
Trade Deficit in Food Safety Public Citizen, July 2007
Bush plans relentless push for trade deals – aide Reuters, January 9, 2008
Standing Up to NAFTA Center for International Policy (CIP), December 18, 2007
Bush, Congress seem headed for clash on trade deals Reuters, December 14, 2007
Trade Deals Ignore Agricultural Impacts on Immigration IATP, December 3, 2007
Fugitive From U.S. Justice Leads Panama’s Assembly New York Times, November 28, 2007
Democratic split on trade remains MarketWatch, November 16, 2007

Sen. Clinton opposes Colombia, Panama trade deals Reuters, November 9, 2007
Bush presses Congress to pass Latam trade agreements Reuters, November 6, 2007
Using Chavez as Counterpoint, Bush Pursues Latin Trade Pacts New York Times, October 24, 2007
The Invisible Culture of Corruption David Sirota, October 19, 2007
Trade winds shift for Bush Washington Post, October 14, 2007
Bush urges passage of Latin American trade pacts MarketWatch, October 13, 2007
Teamsters Challenge Bush on Free Tr

A slow fade for free trade San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 2007
U.S.-Panama trade pact looks shaky LA Times, October 11, 2007
White House Fans Out For Trade Push, Aware of Skepticism Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2007
Centrist Dems tied to Clintons press influence in trade debate The Hill, October 10, 2007
Trade in the Spotlight: Issue Seen as Key One In Race for White House WWD, October 10, 2007
A Shift in Bush’s Trade Politics Washington Post, October 10, 2007
House leader offers some hope on trade deals Reuters, October 3, 2007
Panama Ratifies Free Trade Deal with US Associated Press, July 12, 2007

Teamsters Letter to Congress Expressing Opposition to Trade Deal June 12, 2007
House Democratic Leadership’s Deal With USTR Has Serious Problems Statement by Citizens Trade Campaign, May 23, 2007
Environmental Groups Respond to Trade Deal Statement by Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club Regarding Trade and Environment Deal, May 14, 2007
Maine’s Governor Stays Off AFTA/Panama Procurement List March 20, 2006

Letter of concern on US-Panama Trade Talks Alliance for Responsible Trade, December 6, 2004
Letter to Congress on US-Panama Trade Talks ANAVI, December 6, 2004
Panama, U.S. Make Trade Talks Progress Associated Press, October 22, 2004
Panama, U.S. Launch 5th Trade Talk Round Associated Press, October 18, 2004
Coalition Protests U.S.-Panama Talks on Trade in Tampa, Florida Tampa Tribune, August 12, 2004
Thousands In Panama Protest Free Trade Talks Associated Press, July 15, 2004

Free Trade Agreements Taking Different Paths Women’s Wear Daily, September 18, 2007
Trade agreements seen as crucial Capital Press, September 18, 2007
Conference to Focus on Trade Protection AP, September 17, 2007
Congress Considers Peru Trade Pact As Prelude to Tougher Deals Miami Herald, September 17, 2007
Free-Trade Initiatives are on Life-Support as Export Growth Slows Miami Herald, September 16, 2007
U.S. to Panama: Lawmaker may affect trade deal Associated Press, September 14, 2007
US Officials Say Panama Trade Deal May be in Jeopardy Voice of America, September 14, 2007
Murder case could be obstacle to free trade agreement Bloomberg, September 13, 2007
U.S. Promotes Trade with Panama as Tool to Compete With China Bloomberg, September 13, 2007
Bush officials tout trade agenda, woo Congress Reuters, September 10, 2007
U.S. gov’t launches fall campaign to pass FTAs with S. Korea, three other nations Yonhap News Agency, September 10, 2007

White House gearing up drive for Latam trade pacts Reuters, September 8, 2007
Support growing for trade pacts, U.S. Democrats say Reuters, September 5, 2007
Panama, Peru Pacts Likely for Action as Democrats Weigh Trade Politics Congressional Quarterly, September 5, 2007
Free-trade deals face rocky path The Hill, September 4, 2007
Why are we negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Tax Haven Panama? Tax Justice Network-USA, August 2007
Congress may move quickly on Peru trade: aides Reuters, August 30, 2007
Ways & Means Chairman Explains His Trade Legislation Philosophy Manufacturing and Technology News, July 31, 2007
New Report Reveals How Pending Trade Agreements Will Worsen Imported Food Safety Problem Public Citizen, July 25, 2007
Trade Harmony Between Congress, Bush Suffers a Setback Due to a New Demand Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2007
Panama Agriculture Minister Resigns Over US Talks Reuters, January 10, 2006

Plus: Talking Points on Opposition to the Panama FTA