the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Vice President Biden to Travel to Panama and Mexico Following a Visit to the U.S. Ports of Savannah and Charleston

Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Panama and Mexico the third week of September to highlight our strong relationships in the region.  His trip to Panama and Mexico will be immediately preceded by visits to the ports of Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, on September 16th.   These two U.S. ports are preparing to accommodate some of the increased freight volumes projected to move through the Panama Canal, where a major expansion project will be completed in 2015.  This expansion project will nearly triple the capacity of the canal and will allow significantly larger and deeper ships to call on U.S. ports.  The cargo these ships carry will create increased opportunity in the region and can open whole new export markets for U.S. businesses.  This follows President Obama’s tour of the Port of Jacksonville, Florida, on July 25th, where the President noted: “...we need modern ports so we can move more goods made in America out to the rest of the world.”

In Panama, the Vice President will tour the Panama Canal expansion project and meet with President Martinelli to emphasize our mutual interest in improving integration in Central America as a means to accelerate regional economic growth.  In Mexico, the Vice President will launch the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue and participate in an education event highlighting the Bilateral Forum on Education, Innovation and Research.  He will meet with President Peña Nieto, underscoring the United States’ commitment to deepening our close economic relationship with Mexico, our third largest trading partner in the world, and the strength of our broad bilateral relationship.

Additional details about the Vice President’s trip will be released at a later date.