Time Essay: That Troublesome Panama Canal Treaty

How could such a good cause get into so much trouble? The Panama Canal treaty, which gradually cedes U.S. control over the waterway to Panama by the year 2000, is nothing if not reasonable and conciliatory. It is a common-sensical solution to a nagging, decades-old problem—one that has damaged U.S. relations not with an enemy but with a relatively good neighbor. Yet opposition has grown so intense that while the treaty is expected to be approved by a plebiscite in Panama this week, it is still in considerable trouble in the U.S. Senate.


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