Trinidad and Tobago and Panama have enjoyed cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1995. Both countries concluded negotiations for a Partial Scope Trade Agreement (PSTA) which was signed in October 2013 and assented to by the President in April 2015. This Agreement was incorporated into Trinidad and Tobago’s law in via Act No. 5 of 2015 and is currently being implemented.
The PSTA is aimed at improving bilateral trade between both countries.
The Agreement is intended to provide access into Panama for 230 products from Trinidad and Tobago, while offering reduced tariffs on 248 products from Panama. Some of the products which were granted access to the Panama market include chewing gum, peanut butter, doors and windows, building blocks, bitumen, aerated water, paper products, tiles and blocks, metal products, plastic and paper containers, other packaging materials, agro processed goods such as cocoa, cereals and nuts.
The PSTA also provides for future negotiation of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT); services liberalization; and additional access for products three (3) years after entry into force.
Trinidad and Tobago-Panama Partial-Scope Trade Agreement
Trinidad and Tobago and Panama
Date of signature/entry into force
October 2013/April 2016
Preferences granted by Trinidad and Tobago
258 tariff lines (HS 8-digit level, CET), including, inter alia, certain agricultural and processed agricultural products; fish; toiletry products; crockery and cutlery; wood and articles made of wood; garments; containers and tanks; and freezers and fridges. Most of these tariff lines are either duty-free on entry into force of the agreement or will become dutyfree after a transition period of 10 years. The remainder were subject to tariff reductions of 50% upon entry into force of the agreement, or will be duty-free after a 5-year transition period. There are preferential tariffs for a few agricultural products on a seasonal basis (June-December).
Preferences granted by Panama
230 tariff lines (HS 8-digit level, Panama code), including, inter alia, certain processed agricultural products; oils; dyes; bags; plastic bottles; disposable crockery and cutlery; articles of clothing; paper and printed materials; wood and roofing tiles; and office machines. Around half of these tariff lines were duty-free upon entry into force of the agreement. The remainder were subject to tariff reductions of 50% or 25% upon entry into force of the agreement, or will be duty-free after a 10-year transition period.
Trinidad and Tobago's merchandise trade with Panama
0.3% of total imports; 0.7% of total exports.