Obama lauds free trade deal with Panama - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Obama lauds free trade deal with Panama

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is commending Panama's president for his leadership in resolving issues that had stalled a key free trade agreement between their two countries.

Obama says he is confident that the deal will be good for both the economy in both the U.S. and Panama. He spoke in the Oval Office alongside President Ricardo Martinelli in the Oval Office.

The U.S. and Panama reached agreement on the pact this month after the Panamanian government signed off on a provision to deter would-be tax evaders from using banks in the Central American country as tax havens.

Obama also said Panama would be a key partner in regional security and the promotion of democracy in Latin America.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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