On August 15, 1990, President Bush signed the law implementing the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (1975) (the "Panama Convention"), in the United States. Pursuant to the Senate's advice and consent, President Reagan had signed the Instrument of Ratification on November 10, 1986; the instrument was deposited with the Organization of American States (the "OAS") on September 27, 1990, thus making the United States an official party to the Convention.
I. CONTENTS OF THE CONVENTION
Prior to discussing ratification of the Panama Convention by the United States, it is useful to briefly review its provisions. The Panama Convention is very similar to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958) (the "New York Convention"), in that both provide for the enforcement of arbitration agreements and the recognition of foreign arbitral awards. One important difference, however, is that the Panama Convention provides that where the parties to an arbitration agreement have failed to specify the procedural rules that will govern their arbitration, the Rules of the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission (the "IACAC Rules") shall be used.