August 1, 1986

H.R. 4409, the Panama Canal Commission Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1987, which I am pleased to sign into law, will continue to protect the national interest of the United States in the continued, uninterrupted availability and safe, efficient operation of the Panama Canal at no cost to United States taxpayers. I offer commendation and appreciation to the many Americans and Panamanians who have long cooperated in sustaining this important service to American and world maritime commerce.

The Panama Canal treaties of 1977 and the Panama Canal Act of 1979 provide the framework in which the United States can continue to exercise its rights to operate and defend the canal in a manner consistent with our responsibilities and obligations under the treaties. In signing this act, which will in part amend the Panama Canal Act, I want to assure Members of Congress and the Government of Panama that this legislation will also be interpreted and applied by the executive branch in strict conformity with the terms and intent of the treaties.

Note: H.R. 4409, approved August 1, was assigned Public Law No. 99-368.