As a part of her trade mission to Brazil, Colombia, and Panama this week, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank met today with Jorge Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, and Roberto Roy, President of the Panama Canal Board and the Panama City Subway, to discuss the Panama Canal Expansion Project  and infrastructure spending related to Panama City’s Metro Rail Project. These meetings aim to strengthen longstanding U.S.-Panama ties by promoting greater cooperation between the two countries on infrastructure development.
Panama is a longstanding friend and ally to the United States, and the country’s strategic location as a major shipping route makes it an important economic partner  as well. The Panama Canal currently handles five percent of the world’s trade, and approximately two-thirds of the Canal’s annual transits are bound to or from ports in the United States.
In order to allow greater container capacity, the Panama Canal Authority has decided to invest over $5 billion to expand the Canal. The expanded Canal will accommodate larger vessels that cannot transit now, introducing a new line of business that Panama projects will gradually increase annual profits to $3 billion.
U.S. firms are uniquely positioned to support Panama in its efforts to expand the capacity of the Canal and have offered cutting-edge technologies, world-class engineering and design capabilities, and unrivaled project management expertise to the Expansion Project.
Along with the Panama Canal Expansion Project, if Panama City continues to move forward on the expansion of the Metro Rail, there will be a significant number of commercial opportunities for U.S. infrastructure solutions providers, from intelligent transportation designers and IT solutions to traditional capital equipment for construction.
U.S. businesses want to support Panama’s efforts to grow and thrive as it modernizes and expands its infrastructure, creating more good jobs in both countries. The Panama Canal Expansion Project and Panama City’s Metro Rail Project will ultimately create opportunities for American companies to serve as partners in Panama on infrastructure development.
The Commerce Department continues to help U.S. companies find opportunities to expand their businesses and create more American jobs.