AP NEWS
Click to copy
Click to copy

Panama Canal gets new chief amid US-China trade war

September 5, 2019
1 of 4
Ricaurte Vasquez, the Panama Canal's new administrator, smiles as he speaks during a swearing-in ceremony at Panama Canal Administration Building in Panama City, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Vasquez will administer the canal for a seven-year period and replaces Jorge Quijano. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
1 of 4
Ricaurte Vasquez, the Panama Canal's new administrator, smiles as he speaks during a swearing-in ceremony at Panama Canal Administration Building in Panama City, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Vasquez will administer the canal for a seven-year period and replaces Jorge Quijano. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

PANAMA CITY (AP) — The Panama Canal has a new administrator amid an ongoing U.S.-China trade war that could have a long-term impact on the critical passage’s finances.

Ricaurte Vásquez 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 U.S.-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.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.