Panama`s trade policy emphasizes increased exports as an engine of economic growth and refers to the Panama-Pacific Special Economic Area, the Free Zone (see below) and, to a lesser extent, small export processing areas and unconventional agricultural products as means of implementing this vision. Panama is a global distributor and has ratified free trade agreements with Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Singapore and Taiwan since 2002. It is also a party to an association agreement between Central America and the European Union. Negotiations on trade agreements are under way with Colombia, Peru and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. Panama has also expressed interest in negotiations with South Korea, Caribbean Community countries (CARICOM) and the Gulf Cooperation Council26 The United States and Panama exchange notes for the entry into force of the agreement on October 31, 2012. On the other hand, some studies have shown that cost differentials are generally not large enough to determine the location of economic establishment and that productivity is the most important factor60.60 In addition, many economists view trade liberalization as part of the general development process that, in itself, can foster better social and economic conditions in the long term.61 Developing countries are also looking at the potential loss of sovereignty. , specific standards should be set in trade agreements. , as well as the possibility that such provisions could be used as a disguised form of protectionism. In addition, the Panama Canal Agency will expand the canal at a cost of more than $5 billion — one of the largest public construction projects in the world today. If the agreement is approved, U.S. companies will have access to the Panamanian market and will have the opportunity to compete with the sale of everything from heavy equipment to technical services in a market that has achieved annual growth rates of more than 8% in recent years.

To address the „grey list“ issue, Panama has 14 double taxation agreements with the United States, in addition to TIEA.