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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Representing the 24th District of Florida

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson to Participate in the Inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal

Jun 24, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson today traveled to Panama for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. With its capacity nearly tripled, the canal will be able to accommodate bigger ships carrying up to 14,000 containers of goods from China and other parts of Asia to the East Coast. The expansion also opens up new markets for U.S. businesses, such as the shipment of natural gas.

PortMiami is an ideal transfer point for the shipment of Asian goods destined for Latin America and the Caribbean. To ensure that it is ready to do business, the port invested $1.3 billion in improvements, including deepening the main harbor to 50 feet to accommodate the new mega-cargo ships and a new rail link to connect the port to the nation’s rail systems.

“More than 100 years ago, the Panama Canal revolutionized world trade. It is set to do so again on Sunday, June 26, when the canal reopens after a multi-billion dollar renovation. The expanded canal will double cargo capacity and allow bigger ships to sail through this storied passageway. More important, it will bring new opportunities and thousands of high-paying jobs to PortMiami, which is a vibrant economic engine in my district. In addition, Florida-based businesses will be able to ship goods overseas more cost effectively,” said Rep. Wilson, founder of the Congressional Florida Ports Caucus.

“The Panama Canal is not the only waterway that has undergone a major transformation. Last year, PortMiami overhauled its infrastructure to ensure that it is big-ship ready,” she added. “It is the only eastern port south of Virginia that can accommodate the new ships that will be passing through the canal and is the first port-of-call on the Asia-to-U.S. route. I am extremely honored that I was able to travel to Panama to witness this moment in history.”