Skip to comments.Panama Canal expansion project: Have American fears come true?
Posted on 01/14/2014 7:28:00 AM PST by Theoria
More than four years ago, when Panama awarded the lucrative contract to expand its inter-oceanic canal to a mostly European consortium, the United States was not pleased.
An American company whose bid was unsuccessful, Bechtel, thought the winning tender would barely pay for pouring the concrete and that the consortium would probably try to renegotiate the price at some stage during the construction process.
Some might argue that those American doubts have been justified, especially in view of the ongoing economic row between the European consortium and the Panamanian government agency that runs the waterway. The spat has threatened to bring work to a grinding halt, unless the two parties manage to resolve a $1.6bn (£1bn) dispute over cost overruns.
A series of WikiLeaks cables from the US embassy in Panama that were revealed by the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais in 2010 provided an inside view of the frustration that was felt in the US at not having been able to get that contract. Bechtel had been strongly backed by the US embassy, which was fully aware that the deal would have meant millions of dollars' worth of business for US suppliers.US ports expanding
Instead, the contract was secured by the GUPC consortium (co-led by Spanish company Sacyr and Italian Impregilo), which had offered considerably less money than other bidders but whose proposal, in the opinion of the canal authority, had the best value. GUPC stressed that the project would be built to the highest quality standards, but even so, the decision did not go down well in the US.
The cables also revealed that the US has retained a "fundamental interest" in the expansion project.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
The Chinese will come to the rescue...bet on it! They have their eyes on that strategic ditch anyway.
Do you want high quality, fast delivery or cheap? I can give you two out of three. You pick the two and you can’t change your mind later.
I thought China was backing an entirely new canal, north of Panama...
“The bitter taste of poor quality remains long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten.”
John David Stanhope
The Chicoms have their eye on it alright, they want the project to fail or/and damage the canal. they have started work on their own ditch further north in Nicaragua.
I have a feeling that this project is going to go the way of the original Panama Canal.
It went bankrupt and was abandoned by European interests and sent the man in charge into an insane asylum while American engineers stepped up and finished the project.
China is already building in Nicaragua a new canal
The ChiComs already have a deal to build that sea-level canal through Nicaragua that would render the Panama Canal an interesting museum relic.
and that lead engineer would be Col George Goethals who was appointed chief engineer of the project.
For as long as there has been talk about a canal through Central America, there has been talk about the route through Nicaragua. It’s longer, but lower. It would be easier to build a wider canal; it’d even be possible to build a sea-level canal.
Whether it is economically feasible, though, is something else entirely. I’d expect not.
It would be one hell of a dig.
Yep between him and Slick Willie giving away our technology to the Chinese it is apparent why we have a hard time competing anymore.
When I was a lad, my grandmother’s new husband, a socialist hungarian, was arguing with me because I was a conservative pro business person. He said your party, the GOP was different then, will kill this country. They will get us all hung and will have sold the rope to the commies to do it with.
I guess he was off the mark on whom will give it away but the end result will be the same.
I was thinking more of Ferdinand de Lesseps.
Was there another one???
This is the world playing field for U.S. companies. I worked for a company that was part of a U.S. consortium to build a nuclear power plant. At the last minute we were low-balled by a French-German consortium because the French government guaranteed the consortium wouldn't lose money. The project is way over budget and way behind the schedule.
We took the territory and built the canal. America and its people in those days were young, energetic, happy, glorious, expanding and did lay down the law to foreign nations.
Today Jimmy Carter filled with Love and Tolerance, the American people living a life of eating, drinking, drugging, copulating, evacuating their bowels and snoring did not even notice what the decadent Carter and a bankrupt Congress did in surrendering the Canal to foreigners. There is a price to pay for degeneration and the Canal symbolizes , in part, that price.
I have a map of the survey made by the US Engineer office “Nicaragua Canal Survey 1929-1931” scale 1: 253,440.
The route Begins at Brito on the west on the Rio Grande and traverses east not far north of the Costa Rican Border, through Lake Nicaragua thence along the Rio SanJuan to just North of Grey Town. For much of the distance , the San Juan river is the international border.
What happened to the Monroe doctrine — is it still in the books?
I forgot — no nads to support or enforce it.
So the Free Trade Communists...who support Free Trade with Communist China...thought that by aiding the Communist Chinese financially...would mean they would give US companies contracts to work on the Chinese Canal in Panama?
The Chinese Canal in Panama is basically owned by the Communist Chinese....
Free Traders once again proving to be the most ignorant people on the planet....this nonsense is direct result of Free Trade Communists
Thanks Jimmy for giving Panama back to the "Panamanians" so that Latin America would finally start to love us.
Why the Colombians make a huge stink about that is hard to understand.
But wasn’t the original deal between the US and Panama, that the US would control the canal for something like 75 years, after which the US would relinquish control of the canal to Panama?
See # 26.
Look for Van Hallen's new hit, "Nicaragua"
The Monroe doctrine was never “on the books”. It was a foreign policy doctrine espoused by Monroe that was essentially the idea that the entire western hemisphere was an American sphere of interest and that European intervention in the Western Hemisphere would be opposed by the US. Obviously, Monroe lacked the power to implement this. There was still plenty of European intervention in the Western US, the Carribean, Alaska, and Latin America at that time. It became more of a reality after the Latin American countries gained independence, but even then was never really fully implemented, as the French invasion and occupation of Mexico in the 1860’s as well as Soviet actions in Cuba and Nicaragua attest.
My fury with Carter over this is tempered by the fact the Canal would have gone to Panama in 2002 if he had done nothing at all. We only had a 99-year lease on it.
This is very similar to Hong Kong, UK and China. Eventually Hong Kong was going to be repatriated to China no matter what the UK did.
First I’d heard about the option for another 99 years....
Enjoy these live views of the canal.
If you pick the Miraflores Hires view, you can see the expansion canal to the far left.
The view is to the northwest towards the Atlantic(!?)
(some are surprised that the canal runs from the Atlantic souteast to the Pacific)
You’re correct = the “French Cut” was the abortive attempt pushed by De Lesseps. Col Goethals did an admirable job. “Path Between The Seas” by McCullough is a terrific story of how the Canal was built and the amazing advances in malaria and yellow fever control and treatment that came out of it by people like Dr. Gorgas. My daughter was born at Gorgas Army Medical Center in the old Canal Zone.
Thanks for the well-reasoned dissertation.
You forgot induced vomitting so one could do these things all over again.
On February 26, 1904, the Isthmian Canal Convention was proclaimed. In it, the Republic of Panama granted to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the canal.
source: Wikipedia (I know!)
I believe with an option for another 99.
Liberals are great a making empty gestures that are appreciated only by themselves, aren’t they?
So I see. And there was also reference to “In Perpetuity” that I remember being argued in the Senate back in the ‘70’s.
I was surprised too. I wonder what the back-story is on that? China promised not to kill the goose laying the golden eggs, and it appears they have not. Commie purists were not happy about that, and they expected Capitalism to spread like a disease if Hong Kong were left alone.
Bechtel Corp. The ones who were hired for the “Big Dig” in Boston and had almost 800% in cost overruns ... that Bechtel?
I wouldn’t hire them to do a brick walkway to my front door.
At least with this project you can see the hole where the money is being thrown into....
Just went through the Panama Canal in November. The new dig is impressive and will be much wider than the current canal. Estimated completion date is April 2015.
At a time when the Middle East, Afghanistan and
China monopolize U.S. foreign-policy, Latin
America hasnt received much attention. Until
today, that is, when Secretary of State John
Kerry declared the expiration of the nearly 200-
year old lodestar of U.S. diplomacy in the
The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over, Mr.
Kerry said in a speech at the Organization of
American States in Washington, D.C.-Nov 18 2013
I thought I had read that somewhere.