Panama Canal gets new chief amid US-China trade war

AP , Thursday 5 Sep 2019

The Panama Canal has a new administrator amid an ongoing US-China trade war that could have a long-term impact on the critical passage's finances.

Ricaurte Vasquez assumed the post of running Panama's most important piece of infrastructure on Thursday. For a country that relies on international trade, growing global protectionism poses a threat.

Japan passed China this year as the canal's biggest user. Outgoing canal administrator Jorge Quijano says the US-China trade conflict has already cost the canal about $30 million this year. He says he hasn't seen signs of either side backing down.

His successor, a 66-year-old former economy minister, says the new global reality will require a redefinition of the canal's business.

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