Economy, Foreign Trade
Central American Common Market, GATT, World Trade Organization, WTO, Manufactured goods
Panama’s foreign trade in 2000 included exports worth $860 million. Some 72 percent of exports were food products such as bananas, shrimp, sugar, and coffee. The major buyers were the United States, Germany, Costa Rica, Sweden, and Belgium.
Panama imported $3.4 billion in goods in 2000. Manufactured goods accounted for 73 percent of imports, fuels were 12 percent, and food 12 percent. Sellers were the United States, Ecuador, Japan, and Mexico.
Panama traditionally resisted joining tariff-reducing organizations, in particular the Central American Common Market. In 1995, however, the new government decided to subscribe to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) so it could join the World Trade Organization (WTO). This required pledging to reduce duties on a wide range of protected items. Panama is one of the founding members of the Union of Banana Exporting Countries and belongs to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
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