Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Panama City, Panama April 19-20 to co-lead a Ministerial Conference on Migration and Protection and meet with President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen and Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes, as well as other leaders from across the hemisphere. The U.S. delegation will deepen our ongoing efforts to improve bilateral and regional cooperation on irregular migration and forced displacement, and lay the groundwork for a successful Summit of the Americas in June. The Secretary will also speak with civil society leaders about the challenge of corruption in the hemisphere.
A Deep and Lasting Relationship
- Panama remains a highly valued partner to the United States. Our governments work side-by-side to advance common goals for our peoples and for the region. This includes collaboration on regional security, strengthening democratic institutions, and advancing inclusive economic growth, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States donated more than 500,000 safe and effective vaccine doses as a contribution to Panama’s efforts.
- We thank Panama for hosting this ministerial and welcome Panama’s important leadership role in the region, including as a member of the Alliance for Development in Democracy, a regional alliance between Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama.
- At the April 19-20 Ministerial on Migration and Protection the United States will join with ministers from twenty Western Hemisphere countries in working toward a collaborative and humane approach to managing migration and protection through the region.
- Through this ministerial, we join nations across the hemisphere in support of: sustainable integration for refugees and other migrants and in support of the communities that host them; increased access to international protection for those in need; expanded legal pathways; and support for humane migration management.
- The Panama Ministerial builds towards the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California on June 6-10, 2022. The Summit is the only hemisphere-wide meeting of the leaders of North, South, Central America and the Caribbean, and this is the first time the United States has served as host since the inaugural summit in Miami in 1994.
- The summit’s theme, “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future,” responds to our hemisphere’s most pressing issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the cracks it exposed in health, economic, educational, and social systems; threats to democracy; the climate crisis; and a lack of equitable access to economic, social, and political opportunities.
- The United States is Panama’s top economic partner. We are the largest direct investor in Panama. We have more than 13 billion dollars in bilateral trade in goods and services and we are the main beneficiary of the Panama Canal, with 72 percent of all transits through the Canal carrying goods to or from the United States. Exports of goods and services from Panama to the United States contribute to having more and better jobs here.
- The United States supports Panama’s economic recovery and helps Panama attract more U.S. investment.
- The United States is the largest humanitarian donor to international organizations in Panama, whose work complements the Government of Panama’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to vulnerable migrants and refugees.
- The United States donated over 500,000 Pfizer vaccines to Panama to support Panama’s response to COVID-19. We also provided over 18 million dollars in assistance and delivered more than 100 ventilators, 14 hospital tents, and 170,000 COVID-19 test kits, as well as hundreds of thousands of masks and other personal protective equipment.