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Waltz Promotes U.S. Economic, Trade Ties on Trip to Latin America

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA –  This week, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) traveled to Latin America  to promote the economic and trade partnership between the United States and key U.S. allies in the regions.

Waltz joined nine other members of Congress on the trip, visiting several countries, including Panama, Honduras and Argentina.

“Our relationships with our allies in Latin America are critical to American national security and economic prosperity,” Waltz said. “It is important to maintain these relationships, especially for Floridians, given our state’s proximity to the region.”

On Wednesday, Waltz visited the Panama Canal, a critical waterway in Panama which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.

In 1881, France began initial construction on the canal but halted work due to engineering problems. The U.S. took over construction in 1904 and opened the canal in 1914, greatly expediating trade and travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Over 10 percent of U.S. shipping travels through the Panama Canal today.

Earlier in the week, Waltz met with the Joint Task Force in Honduras, which helps the U.S. counter transnational threat networks and coordinate humanitarian efforts in Central America.

To commemorate Veterans Day, Waltz also met American servicemembers from Florida stationed at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. The U.S. military uses Soto Cano as a launching point for efforts in the war on drugs in the region as well as humanitarian aid missions throughout Central America.

“As Veterans Day approaches, it was truly special to meet some of Florida’s finest men and women stationed here in Honduras,” Waltz said. “For love of country, with determination and professionalism, courage and honor, our troops are dedicated to protect our vital national interests and democratic ideals. It was an honor to thank them in person for their service and bravery.”

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