First International Visit of Senator Rick Scott of Florida: a Focus on Security and Economy

Florida Senator Rick Scott and President Juan Carlos Varela at the Presidential Palace.

Panama City, April 23, 2019.  To reinforce the strong U.S. support for the security and economic partnership between the United States and Panama, Florida Senator Rick Scott visited Panama from April 22-23.  Senator Scott selected Panama as his first official Congressional Delegation international trip, highlighting the importance of the U.S.-Panamanian relationship.

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Senator Scott and Panama Canal Vice-President Miguel Lorenzo during his visit to the expanded Canal.

During his trip Senator Scott visited the Cocoli Expansion Locks at the Panama Canal where he met with the Vice President for Engineering and Services Miguel Lorenzo and witnessed first-hand the substantial U.S. traffic flow.  The United States accounts for 68 percent of the ships passing through the Panama Canal.

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Senator Scott met with American Chamber of Commerce board members.

Senator Scott also toured the Manazillo International Terminal (MIT) in Colon and met with Stacy Hatfield, the General Manager of MIT as well as visiting stakeholders from SSA’s Jacksonville Blount Terminal.  He learned about the efficiency of MIT’s state of the art automated systems and its strong community involvement.  He also met with board members of the American Chamber of Commerce.

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During his meeting with President Juan Carlos Varela, Senator Scott reinforced the strong economic relationship between the U.S. and Panama.

Today, he met with President Juan Carlos Varela where Senator Scott had the opportunity to discuss with him how to strengthen our economic relationship, Chinese influence in the region, and Panama’s recent humanitarian support for the people of Venezuela.

This was Senator Scott’s first trip to Latin America as a Senator.  He previously served as Governor of Florida from 2011 to 2019 and visited Panama in 2011.  Senator Scott serves on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the Senate Committee on the Budget, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, among others.