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What is SEEM?

The Secretariat for the Application of Environmental Legislation (SEEM) is an organization created within the framework of the Trade Promotion Agreement between Panama and the United States of America (Panama-United States TPA), with two main objectives, the attention of Public Environmental Submissions and attention to Factual Records.

Pursuant to the Agreement, any person from a Party may submit an Environmental Submission in the event that it considers that any of the Parties is not complying with or applying its environmental legislation effectively. If this Submission meets the formal requirements, the Secretariat must request a response from the designated Party.

In response to the response generated, the Secretariat prepares a report with its recommendations, which may include the preparation of a Factual Record, a document that seeks to gather more detailed information related to the petition. Given this recommendation, the vote of any of the members of the Environmental Affairs Council can initiate the process of preparing the Factual Record, an activity that the Secretariat will be in charge of.

About Panama-USA TPA

The Trade Promotion Agreement between Panama and the United States of America (Panama-USA TPA) enters into force on October 31, 2012, as a result of a long period of negotiations that included four government administrations.

TPAs generally have the objective of establishing agreements for the scheduled release of merchandise trade between the signatory countries. Being historic trade partners, Panama and the United States pursue with this effort the strengthening and increase of trade relations between them.

Unlike previous agreements, the TPC Panama United States not only regulates the exchange of goods, but also extends to trade in services and investment. Additionally, it addresses other issues related to trade such as intellectual property, government purchases, labor aspects, cooperation, dispute resolution and environmental aspects that are related to commercial activity.