WITH little over a week to go, Panama trade officials were still uncertain On Thursday July 21, if Colombia was moving to abide by with a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling favoring Panama.
The decision was about a dispute over a joint tariff imposed by the South American country on imports of footwear and textiles from the Colón Free Zone.
Minister of Trade Augusto Arosemena said Wednesday, July 20 that he discussed the case with his Colombian colleague, María Clauda Lacouture, but uncertainty persists.
“We still don’t know what will happen,” he said.
Colombia has until July 30 to comply with the WTO standards.
“It is an important date that we are monitoring to see what happens,” the minister said.
Arosemena met Wednesday with business associations to discuss what can be done if Colombia refuses to follow the WTO order. Panama could draft retaliatory measures, but Arosemena declined to discuss those options.
Jorge García Icaza, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said that “Colombia must do the right thing and abide by the ruling of the WTO.”