QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica will suspend Panama’s tariff benefits for refusing to respect the importation and marketing of Costa Rican tomatoes.
In 2020, an arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of Costa Rica, after Panama imposed limitations on the importation of fresh tomatoes from Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Manuel Tovar, said that the decision of the Panamanian authorities affects its consumers and Costa Rican exporters.
“The Ministry of Foreign Trade has an absolute commitment to the defense of the rights provided by international trade agreements, which opens opportunities for prosperity for all. From this perspective, and as an actor respectful of International Law, Costa Rica will use all legal avenues of action to ensure compliance with the commitments assumed by the parties within the framework of the Central American economic integration process,” highlighted Tovar.
The actions described by the Minister added to the defense carried out by Costa Rica within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in relation to restrictions imposed by Panama on Costa Rican exports of strawberries, fresh pineapple, bananas, plantains, dairy products, and meat.
This process, which is separate from the tomato case, is at an advanced stage and the panel’s work continues in accordance with the established procedural calendar.
Participating as third countries interested in this dispute are the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, China, India, Brazil, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Russia, and Chinese Taipei.