From the Document: "Panama's central location in the Americas (linking North and South America), large financial sector, use of the U.S. dollar as currency, and transportation infrastructure-- especially the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans--make the country a global trade hub and a strategic partner for the United States. [...] Under the Biden Administration, high-level engagement with Panama is continuing. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland held discussions in Panama in June 2021 focused on managing irregular migration, addressing climate change and environmental protection, and combatting illicit finance. In October 2021, U.S. officials participated in a High-Level Security Dialogue with Panama to advance collaboration on regional migration challenges, as well as money laundering and drug trafficking. The Administration also has expressed support for an informal arrangement among Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic--the Alliance for Development in Democracy--to address economic recovery and development and cooperation on political and migration challenges facing the region. Increased irregular migration through Panama's Darien Gap region bordering Colombia has become a high-profile issue."
CRS In Focus, IF10430
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/