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Friday, March 22 2019 @ 02:05 AM UTC

Panama Stomping Their Feet over Free Trade Agreement

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Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, Indicted in the United States for the Terrorist Murder of Zak Hernandez
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, Indicted in the United States for the Terrorist Murder of Zak Hernandez
By Eneida Prieto for the Panama America - Panama will insist that the Congress of the United States try to pass the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. President Martín Torrijos said he would do everything possible so that the agreement is approved, after the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee decided that "Panama will have to solve its political problem" before approving the Free Trade Agreement. Torrijos said his government has promised to do everything within his power so that at the moment when the Free Trade Agreement comes before the congress for a vote that it will "have the votes for ratification." (more)

Editor's Comment: What? Give me a break. In this article Panama's Vice President Samuel Lewis Navarro says "We have not received any notification that some political problem must be solved" with regards to Pedro Miguel Gonzalez and the passage of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Panama. At least President Martin Torrijos was a little more delicate in saying that "I'm doing everything within my power" to get the FTA passed, indicating that he does not have any control over Panama's National Assembly or the decision of Pedro Miguel Gonzalez to resign (or not) as the President of the National Assembly. But he also indicated a little wishful thinking in saying that "we will get the votes for passage" when it comes to a full vote. Nice try, but it's not leaving committee, so no need.

Troubling and Worrisome: And while I normally think politicians are fun to watch, I wonder if Samuel Lewis Navarro is serious. "We have not received any notification?" Give me a friggin' break. No one should have to explain to an astute politician that other politicians are playing politics with a political issue. Follow that? If Samuel Lewis Navarro can't figure this one out then he has no place being in charge of the community watch program, much less the nation. On the other hand if he's just acting stupid for the press and making a "tongue in cheek" statement like "no one has told us that there's a problem" (wink, nod, grin) then that's almost worse, or in any case insulting.

Nuts In A Vice: In reality, as Panama's Chancellor Samuel Lewis Navarro is the primary person in the government of Martin Torrijos responsible for foreign policy and this whole stinking ball of crap falls directly into his lap. Back when the issue first came up Samuel Lewis Navarro and Pedro Miguel Gonzalez were riding around in cars together, and there is no doubt that he knows exactly what is going on. The messages from the United States Congress simply do not get any clearer. The Bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Panama is not going to be leaving committee while Pedro Miguel Gonzalez remains as the President of Panama's National Assembly. Period. And in the words of Charles Rangel, good luck with that... (See you in 2009)

(Article Continues)

On the other hand, Panama's Vice President and Chancellor of the Republic Samuel Lewis Navarro said he is unaware that the United States is going to postpone the ratification of the Free Trade Agreement.

"We have not received any notification that some political problem must be solved," said the Chancellor.

Lewis Navarro recognized that only the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Peru has been approved by the House Ways and Means Committee and that it will pass to the full house next week.

He said the passage to ratification is a "legitimate and sovereign process of the U.S.A., which we are watching."

He said he hopes the treaty can enter into effect "as soon as possible" because it is "a beneficial agreement" for both nations.

Also, it said that the Free Trade Agreement can not be seen as a failure for Panama, because "the success that has been obtained with this negotiation culminates when the Free Trade Agreement enters into use," with the United States.

He said that Panama is in a positive phase of development which can be evaluated.

The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Charles Rangel admitted that the situation with Panama and Colombia is more difficult of the one with Peru.

When exiting the House of Representatives Rangel wished Panama "good luck."

Gobierno insistirá para lograr ratificación de TPC con EE.UU.

Hay resistencia de congresistas para aprobar el tratado, porque sobre el presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, Pedro Miguel González, pesa una orden de captura por la muerte de un soldado de EE.UU.

Visita.Carlos Gutiérrez, secretario de Comercio, hizo advertencia de aplazamiento. Eneida Prieto PA-DIGITAL

Panamá insistirá ante el Congreso de Estados Unidos para intentar que se apruebe el Tratado de Libre Comercio, (TLC), entre ambos países.

El presidente de la República, Martín Torrijos, dijo que se hará todo lo necesario para que se apruebe este acuerdo comercial, luego de que el Comité de Medios y Arbitrios de la Cámara de Representantes del Congreso estadounidense decidiera que "Panamá deberá resolver su problema político" antes de la aprobación del TLC.

Torrijos señaló que el gobierno se ha planteado hacer todo lo que esté a su alcance para que al momento en que el acuerdo comercial llegue al Congreso pueda "tener los votos para la ratificación".

Por su parte, el vicepresidente y canciller de la República, Samuel Lewis Navarro, indicó que desconoce que Estados Unidos vaya a aplazar la ratificación del TLC con Panamá.

"No hemos recibido ninguna notificación para que se resuelva algún problema político", acotó el canciller.

Lewis Navarro reconoció que solo se ha aprobado el acuerdo comercial con Perú, por el Comité de Medios y Arbitraje estadounidense y que pasará la próxima semana para evaluación del Congreso.

Manifestó que el paso de ratificación es "un proceso legítimo y soberano de EE.UU., al que le estamos dando seguimiento".

Dijo esperar que el tratado pueda entrar en vigencia "lo antes posible", debido a que es "un acuerdo beneficioso" para ambas naciones.

Asimismo, resaltó que la medida no puede considerarse un fracaso para Panamá, ya que "el éxito que se ha logrado con esta negociación culmina cuando el TLC entre en vigencia" de manera pronta con esa nación.

Manifestó que Panamá, se encuentra en una etapa positiva de su desarrollo, que puede ser evaluada.

El republicano presidente del Comité de Medios y Arbitraje, Charles Rangel, admitió que la situación de Panamá y Colombia es más difícil de la encontrada con Perú. Rangel a su salida de la Cámara de Representantes deseo "suerte" a Panamá.

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