Panama Canal Transfer
Stories from the United States' relationship with the Panama Canal, in celebration of its centenary
On December 14, 1999, the President of Panama, Mireya Moscoso, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed an official transfer document. This diplomatic note confirmed the transfer of the Canal to Panama, which was scheduled to occur on the 31st of that month.
That document also solidified the role of the Panama Canal Association to administer the Canal as an organ independent of the government, so that it would not be influenced by partisan politics.
Jimmy Carter, accompanied by U.S. cabinet members, came on behalf of the American government since he had originally signed the Torrijos-Carter Treaty establishing the parameters for the Canal transfer.
The official transfer ceremony occurred on December 31 at the foot of the administration building. It was a festive event, which was attended by not only hundreds of Panamanians, but leaders of various countries around the world.