The political furor of Mississippi’s decision to use almost $600 million of the federal Hurricane Katrina recovery funds to help a $1.6 billion expansion of the Port of Gulfport is looking like a better investment every day.
Gov. Haley Barbour has successfully negotiated a memorandum of understanding between the Panama Canal Authority and the Mississippi State Port Authority that will ultimately result in increased trade at the Port of Gulfport as the Panama Canal expands.
A $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal has begun that will allow more and wider ships to pass through the canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. That expansion dovetails nicely with the fact that once the Port of Gulfport expansion is completed, it will be the largest container terminal in the U.S.
Barbour traveled to Panama with members of the state Port Authority to ink the agreement that will provide joint marketing, information sharing and technology exchanges between the two maritime facilities.