Hatch Comments on Panama’s Approval of Tax Agreement
Urges Swift Consideration of Three Pending Free Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today released the following statement regarding Panama’s final approval of the U.S.-Panama Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA):
“With Panama’s signing into law the Tax Information Exchange Agreement, Panama has cleared the last remaining hurdle put in front of it by the Obama Administration for consideration of the U.S. – Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. Our two nations have shared a long history. The implementation of our agreement will help strengthen economic ties and build upon an already strong strategic partnership,” said Hatch. “I appreciate the Administration notifying Congress that they are ready to begin the technical work on the implementing bill and believe they also must now act swiftly to notify Congress that they are ready to begin work on the implementing bill for the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.”
Hatch continued, “I stand ready to work with the Administration to ensure prompt congressional approval of our pending free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. We will carefully review all of these agreements and their implementing legislation. These trade pacts have already languished for too long and the longer we wait, the longer exporters in Utah and other states will lose out on market opportunities in these countries.”
The United States and Panama signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement on November 30, 2010. While the Tax Information Exchange Agreement will increase transparency in Panama’s tax practices, it does not fall under the purview of the U.S. – Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. With the signing of the Tax Information Exchange Agreement, Panama has taken the final step imposed on it by the Obama Administration before the Administration would begin the process of initiating congressional consideration of the U.S. – Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, which was signed in 2007.
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