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Us Fta Agreements

The United States has implemented 14 trade agreements with a total of 20 countries. Although none of the plaintiffs have imposed themselves against the United States, Congress has committed to the trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation to ensure that future trade agreements “ensure that foreign investors in the United States do not enjoy greater material rights in terms of investment protection rights than U.S. investors.” In response, Schedule 10-B of the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement states that “except in rare cases, a party`s non-discriminatory regulatory measures, designed and implemented to protect legitimate welfare objectives such as public health, safety and the environment, do not constitute indirect expropriations.” This provision, along with a provision allowing the early elimination of “frivolous” suits, is intended to allay these fears, although some interest groups remain skeptical.52 Congress has delayed measures against the U.S.-Panama free trade agreement by nearly four years due to widespread concerns. Many issues were addressed by changes to the free trade agreement based on the principles of the May 10, 2007 bipartisan agreement, jointly drafted by the leaders of the 110th Congress and the Bush administration. Among these amendments was acceptance as fully enforceable commitments, the five fundamental labour rights set out in the fundamental principles and rights of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and in its follow-up statement (1998), mandatory compliance with certain multilateral environmental agreements, new pharmaceutical rights provisions to facilitate Panama`s access to generic medicines in Panama, and language on the issue of the investor-state , which specifies that foreign investors will have no more rights than U.S. domestic investors in dispute resolution under the free trade agreement3. The USTR conducted an environmental assessment of the potential impact of the free trade agreement. He noted that Panama “faces a number of challenges in protecting its environment as it supports its economic growth and population growth.” Deforestation, soil degradation, the loss of wildlife and threats to water quality and wetlands are, among other things, serious problems for Panama. The Panama Canal also imposes strict water consumption requirements in the country. Panama responded through the public order process by establishing environmental standards and concluding bilateral and U.S.

environmental cooperation agreements.69 These issues were already factors of interference prior to the Panama Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Thus, the environmental assessment states that the marginal impact of the free trade agreement on environmental standards would be small, either with respect to the projected effects on the United States or Panama. House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Although supporters of the CAFTA-DR model have prevailed in previous agreements, a new cross-party consensus has emerged with the leadership of the 110th Congress, leading to a significant change in the model for the bilateral working chapters of the ETS. The principles of this amendment, as defined in the May 10, 2007 agreement, were included in the working chapters on the bilateral free trade agreements concluded by the United States with Panama, Peru, Colombia and South Korea. Key changes to the CAFTA-DR model indicate that each country contains the final text of the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement on the basis of the May 10, 2007 bipartisan agreement, drawn up by the Bush administration and the leaders of the 110th Congress. These include the adoption of enforceable labour standards, mandatory adherence to multilateral environmental agreements and the easing of restrictions on developing countries` access to generic drugs, provisions that go beyond those of the previous United States.

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