The Hay-Herran Treaty
Stories from the United States' relationship with the Panama Canal, in celebration of its centenary
Approved on January 22, 1903, the Hay-Herran treaty takes its name from the Colombian doctor Tomas Herran and the American Secretary of State John Hay, who signed the treaty. This draft treaty with Colombia, granted the United States exclusive rights to build and operate the canal for 100 years, in return for 10 million dollars and an annual income of $250,000 with charges to the canal tolls for Colombia. The Pact was ratified by the U.S. Senate in March 1903, but the Colombian Senate first sought greater compensation economic and then in June, rejected the Treaty.