Grupo Unidos por el Canal was the unlikely winner of the competition to build a new set of locks for the Panama Canal and they did so with a rock-bottom bid ($3.1 billion) that was a billion dollars less than the nearest suitor. The locks were declared to be ready seven years later, but do not meet the qualifications for success: the new canal needs enough water, durable concrete and locks big enough to safely accommodate the larger ships.

The problems with the new locks abound and can have very damaging effects if the problems are not corrected:

The consequences will be wide-ranging if the canal does not deliver as promised. American grain and soybean farmers and producers of liquefied natural gas, for example, may find it harder to sell to Asian customers. Asian manufacturers may forsake the struggling ports on America’s East Coast for those in the West. Or they, and ultimately consumers, will shoulder the added cost of going the long way around, through the Suez Canal.

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