The Panama Canal said today that the intensification of the trade pulse between the United States and China will not affect the activity of the water route this year, but it could be felt during the first quarter of 2019.
The CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, Jorge Luis Quijano, told reporters on Tuesday that the negative effect of tariffs "is not going to be now" because the fiscal year is about to end and warned that "it could possibly be felt by the end of the first quarter, if that happens."
The White House reported on Monday that the United States will impose tariffs of 10 percent worth 200 billion dollars on Chinese products starting on September 24 and threatened to impose a new battery of charges if the Asian giant retaliates.
The canal authority estimates this fiscal year will end, which runs from September 30, 2017 to October 1, 2018, with revenues of $ 3,037.5 million and forecast revenues for fiscal year 2019 of $ 3,239.5 million.
"Everything is going well today and I hope it stays that way. We are having a very good year, that is the good news. This month is going very well. It is a month in which we do not normally have that many transits," said Quijano after participating in a meeting with businesspeople.
The United States, who built the road and managed it until December 31, 1999, is the first user of the canal, followed by China.
Around 6 percent of world trade passes through the canal and more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports are connected in 160 different countries.
June marked the two years since the Canal expansion was inaugurated, which was built to help cross the so-called Neopanamax ships, with the capacity to carry up to 14,000 containers.
Container transport continues to be the main business of the water route, but the new locks have allowed the canal to open to other products, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or large cruise ships, which did not fit into the old complex.