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Panama Canal expansion project: Have American fears come true?
BBC ^ | 13 Jan 2014 | Thomas Sparrow

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: canal; panama; panamacanal
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1 posted on 01/14/2014 7:28:00 AM PST by Theoria
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To: Theoria
With sincere thank yous to Jimmy Carter the architect of the Panama Canal deal.
2 posted on 01/14/2014 7:33:06 AM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: Theoria

The Chinese will come to the rescue...bet on it! They have their eyes on that strategic ditch anyway.


3 posted on 01/14/2014 7:33:49 AM PST by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Theoria

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.


4 posted on 01/14/2014 7:34:29 AM PST by Tenacious 1 (Liberals can afford for things to go well, to work, for folks to be happy. They'd be out of work.)
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To: Don Corleone

I thought China was backing an entirely new canal, north of Panama...


5 posted on 01/14/2014 7:35:25 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: Theoria

“The bitter taste of poor quality remains long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten.”

John David Stanhope


6 posted on 01/14/2014 7:35:47 AM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: Don Corleone
The Chinese will come to the rescue...bet on it! They have their eyes on that strategic ditch anyway.

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.

7 posted on 01/14/2014 7:39:32 AM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: Theoria

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.


8 posted on 01/14/2014 7:41:28 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Don Corleone

China is already building in Nicaragua a new canal


9 posted on 01/14/2014 7:42:21 AM PST by bestintxas (Obamacare = Obamascrewed)
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To: Don Corleone

The ChiComs already have a deal to build that sea-level canal through Nicaragua that would render the Panama Canal an interesting museum relic.


10 posted on 01/14/2014 7:44:13 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: FReepers

Click The Pic To Donate

Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

11 posted on 01/14/2014 7:46:07 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Uncle Chip

Interesting thought!


12 posted on 01/14/2014 7:49:11 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Uncle Chip

and that lead engineer would be Col George Goethals who was appointed chief engineer of the project.


13 posted on 01/14/2014 7:51:15 AM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

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.


14 posted on 01/14/2014 7:51:25 AM PST by jdege
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To: jdege

It would be one hell of a dig.


15 posted on 01/14/2014 7:54:32 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: Mouton

Yep between him and Slick Willie giving away our technology to the Chinese it is apparent why we have a hard time competing anymore.


16 posted on 01/14/2014 7:54:39 AM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative

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.


17 posted on 01/14/2014 7:59:26 AM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: Mouton

I was thinking more of Ferdinand de Lesseps.

Was there another one???


18 posted on 01/14/2014 8:05:35 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Theoria
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.

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.

19 posted on 01/14/2014 8:09:26 AM PST by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: Theoria
The Panama Canal is a perfect illustration of the degeneration of America, its "leaders" and people.

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.

20 posted on 01/14/2014 8:16:09 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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