On Wednesday, September 28, Costa Rica Minister of Foreign Trade, Manuel Tovar, assured during an appearance before the Treasury Affairs Commission that the Panamanian government must understand the "garrote" and desist from the commercial dispute.
He was referring to his country's decision to start taxing all Panamanian products that enter Costa Rican territory that today are duty-free.
“ We are already in the last days of defining a retaliation measure that enables us through international legislation to retaliate and impose import taxes on products that arrive in the country duty-free and the case continues to the last consequences,” said the minister quoted by media outlet Teletica.
The dispute began in 2020 with the administration of President Cortizo, which applied the blockade to dairy and other products of animal origin, despite the fact that there was a free trade agreement between Panama and Costa Rica that provided tax-free income for these products.
“ The expectations are that they understand the stick, go to the WTO (World Trade Organization). We have sued them and we are willing to reach the ultimate consequences,” said Tovar, who also harshly questioned the Panamanian Head of State.
The Costa government went to the WTO in 2021 over the situation.
From Panama so far there have been no reactions to the statements.