Many in Congress oppose the Panama FTA because it is a Bush hangover NAFTA-style agreement that reflects the priorities of that administration's corporate backers, rather than the fair-trade reform agenda that American voters backed by electing Barack Obama.
Unfortunately, President Obama has reversed course on his campaign commitments, and sent the Panama FTA to Congress on October 3, 2011.
A long list of labor, consumer, environmental, faith, family-farm and other organizations oppose the Panama FTA because of the agreement's actual NAFTA-replicating terms.
However, the problems with the notion of a U.S. FTA with Panama extend beyond what is contained in the pact's text. Despite Panama's status as one of the world's top venues for tax evasion and money laundering, the FTA does not remedy Panama's problems with tax evasion and money laundering. In fact, if the Panama FTA were adopted, it would make these matters of bipartisan concern worse.