Latin America

Panama and Costa Rica engage in “mini trade war” over blocked exports

Panama is butting heads over restrictions on restrictions agricultural trade, which Costa Rica call arbitrary and anticompetitive.

trade panama costa rica
Cargo containers in Panama City. Photo: Rob Stokes/Shutterstock

For Latin American standards, Costa Rica and Panama are seen as socio-economically stable countries. Far above the world’s worst in terms of human development — ranking 68th and 67th in HDI terms, respectively — neither country were among the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and their economies posted good GDP growth figures in 2019, before the coronavirus crisis. 

But after sitting on opposite sides of economic and migratory issues in the region, and disagreeing on the crisis in Venezuela, Costa Rica and Panama are now dealing with a mini trade war.

At the beginning of 2021, the Costa Rican...

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