WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — Today, the United States and Panama signed an Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA). The ECA will help ensure that trade and environmental policies work together to provide greater economic opportunities for businesses and workers in the United States and Panama.
The ECA recognizes the U.S. and Panama’s commitment to expanding cooperation on environmental matters. As a complement to the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, the ECA establishes a framework for bilateral cooperation to protect the environment and promote sustainable development in concert with the U.S.-Panama trade and investment relationship.
The ECA provides for a new Environmental Cooperation Commission, which will help oversee the implementation of the agreement. This Commission will define a work program to establish specific goals, objectives, and areas for cooperation that are reflective of each country’s national environmental priorities.
Bilateral and regional environmental cooperation under the ECA will help ensure that:
* Obligations under the Environment Chapter of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement are fulfilled;
* Progress is made toward a level playing field on environmental rules for businesses in the United States and Panama; and
* Trade and environmental policies are mutually supportive.
Through environmental cooperation, the United States and Panama will advance the world’s transition to a green economy and a sustainable future.
To learn more about free trade and environmental protection and read the U.S.-Panama ECA, please visit: http://www.state.gov/e/oes/env/trade/panama/index.htm .