Rep. Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk reported that outstanding issues around the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement have been resolved, and the Administration is ready to move forward:

“Today we are one step closer to the approval of a trade agreement with Panama. I support this agreement, which improves a key global relationship and brings economic opportunity to the United States and Washington’s South Sound.

“I am pleased to see Panama has taken the necessary steps to resolve outstanding issues, including exchanging important tax and banking information through the U.S.-Panama Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA). These changes improve on the enforceable labor and environmental provisions already included in the agreement. The Panama FTA will create jobs in the U.S., ensure fairness and accountability for American exports, while also solidifying our strategic relationship with a long-time American ally in Latin America.

“The South Sound’s export-driven economy, including the Port of Tacoma, will benefit as this agreement moves forward and more U.S. goods reach the growing market of Panamanian consumers.”