The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, which was signed into law in October 2011, went into effect on October 31, 2012, and will provide several positive turns for trade between the two countries, including an elimination of tariffs and an expansion of business.

Before the agreement, Panama's tariffs were as high as 260 percent on chicken leg quarters, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Under the agreement, the 260 percent tariff on chicken cuts will be eliminated immediately on mechanically de-boned chicken, within five years for wings and within 10 years for other chicken cuts, except for leg quarters.

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Panama will immediately provide duty-free access on leg quarters within a preferential tariff-rate quota that starts at 660 metric tons and grows 10 percent annually. The 260 percent overquota tariff will be eliminated in 18 years. U.S. poultry exporters will continue to have access to the global 756 metric ton tariff-rate quota or chicken cuts that is part of Panama’s World Trade Organization commitments.

Panama will immediately eliminate the 15 percent duties on turkey meat for frozen whole turkeys and most frozen turkey cuts, according to the agreement. The 15 percent tariffs on processed turkey and chicken will be eliminated within five years.