1. The parties recognize that multilateral environmental agreements, both parties, play an important role in protecting the environment at the global and national level and that their implementation is essential to achieving the environmental objectives of these agreements. The parties also recognize that this chapter and the Court can contribute to the achievement of the objectives of these agreements. As a result, the parties continue to look for ways to strengthen mutual assistance from multilateral environmental agreements to which they are parties and trade agreements to which they are parties. 1. Each party encourages and facilitates, as far as possible, the application of arbitration procedures and other alternative means of dispute resolution for the purpose of resolving international trade disputes between private parties in the free trade area. Trade between the United States and Panama is weak, as shown in Table 2.29. In 2011, the United States exported $8,252.6 million and imported US$389.2 million, generating a trade surplus of $7,863.4 million in the United States, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Yet thepanama is ranked as only the 32nd largest export market for U.S. goods and 101st for imports. The largest U.S. exports are oil and especially capital-intensive and technology-intensive industrial goods such as airplanes, machinery, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles.
In the 112th U.S. Congress, the rise of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives led to new pressure to approve the three upcoming free trade agreements (Colombia, Panama and South Korea). Finally, in October 2011, President Obama presented to Congress the three trade pacts that were quickly adopted. On October 12, 2011, the U.S. S.-Panama TPA passed the House of Representatives by 300-129 votes (H.R. 3079) and the Senate by 77-22 votes (p. 1643).  President Obama signed the pact on October 21, 2011 (P.L. 112-43, 125stat. 427) and the agreement came into effect on October 31, 2012.
 New opportunities for U.S. workers, producers, farmers and ranchers More than 87 percent of U.S. exports of consumer goods and industrial products to Panama were released after entry into force and the remaining tariffs expired for more than a decade.