In 1990, the United States became a party to the Panama Convention, which specifically applies to commercial disputes. Concerned with the limited scope of the New York Convention, Latin American countries and the United States sought to harmonize both arbitral processes and the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards on a regional level. Only applies to arbitration agreements as to commercial transactions. Although the Panama Convention has nowhere near the same global effect as the New York Convention, it nevertheless plays a vital role in promoting international trade in the Western Hemisphere. Seventeen Western Hemisphere countries have ratified the Panama Convention since its adoption, including the United States.