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PHOTOS: Peters Travels to Panama to Visit the Darien and Panama Canal

Senator Focused on Key Commerce and Migration Issues

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Chair of the Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, recently returned from an official visit to Panama to discuss key migration and commerce-related issues. Peters visited the Panama Canal to see firsthand the important role that it plays in international commerce and to the United States’ economy, and the Darien to discuss key migration issues.

“The United States-Panama relationship is critical to our economic and national security. I was pleased to see the vital role the Panama Canal plays in international trade and meet with senior Panamanian officials to discuss how our countries can work together to ensure the canal remains strong for years to come,” said Senator Peters. “I also had the opportunity to travel to the Darien and spoke with officials about the shared migration and humanitarian challenges our nations face. It’s critical that we work with our partners in Panama to address these important issues.”

During the visit, Peters toured the Panama Canal with Miguel A. Lorenzo, the Vice President for Infrastructure and Engineering, to observe current operational capabilities. While there, Peters discussed the extent of interactions with the United States – which accounts for more than 70 percent of cargo transiting the Panama Canal – and the technical support provided to the canal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They also discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the flow of commerce and what tools and resources would enhance and modernize the operations of the Panama Canal to ensure it is ready for future commerce. Additionally, they focused on how climate change – in particular a change in rainfall patterns – poses a threat to the operating logistics of the canal and the canal’s efforts to combat climate-related disruptions through decarbonization and the use of electric vehicles and alternative fuels to meet their goals of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Peters also traveled to the Darien to discuss ongoing migration challenges in the region that also impact the United States, and met with humanitarian organizations. Peters also met with senior and high-ranking government officials to discuss migration and border management policies – including Minister of Security Juan Manuel Pino, Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney, Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte, and personnel from the Department of Homeland Security. Peters visited the Port of Balboa, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Container Security Initiative port, which helps to conduct important security screenings of goods.

To download photos from Peters’ official visit to Panama, click here or on the images below. Photos are courtesy of Peters’ office and the U.S. Embassy in Panama.

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