VPotus pool report 3 - arrival Panama Canal

From: David Rennie
Date: August 17, 2017 at 2:06:32 PM EST
Subject: VPotus pool report 3 - arrival Panama Canal

After motorcade, some of which was through heavy tropical rain - what
locals call an "aguacero" - VP and Mrs Pence arrived Panama Canal at
1401 pm local time.

Motorcade passed through Panama City along roads and a causeway which
appeared to have been cleared of traffic. Pool briefly glimpsed the
resulting back-up of traffic, and drivers standing by their stationary
vehicles.

Event is at the Cocoli Locks, part of the expanded Panama Canal which
opened in 2016, allowing passage to much larger ships, and increasing
port traffic along East coast of America.

Per U.S. Embassy info the previous maximum cargo capacity of ships
able to pass through the canal, the "Panamax" size, was 5000
Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). The new locks are 1400 feet long,
80 feet wide, 60 feet deep and allow for passage of "Neo-Panamax"
ships holding 13,000 TEUs.

The Panamanian VP is due to give welcome remarks followed by a speech
by VP Pence.

Press currently holding at canal side till official greeting ceremony.

Ceremonies are taking place in an white open-sided tent against the
rain. The site is overlooked by the locks control tower which
resembles a shorter, wider air traffic control tower. To either side
rise green forested hills.

The audience includes canal officials and dozens of local school
children in blue and white uniforms.

David Rennie
Washington bureau chief
The Economist

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