To ship cheap-line articles like beers through the Panama Canal I imagine is not very cost effective. But neither is shipping them to Europe all the way around Canada’s northern waters alt. around the south of Americas. I don’t even think they construct any ships, at any shipyard, that can travel such a long journey without refueling the ship’s fuel tank on fuel oil at least once.
Refueling ships’ fuel tanks is done often relatively far from the existing oilfield, but virtually always close to existing refineries around the world, which can complicate things, and it gets important for those extra miles that one has friendly ports one can use to refuel ones ships with fuel oil.
This is one of the main reasons why classical American conservatives have been all for globalism, since a nation with higher living standard is a nation that is less likely to cause any troubles, because they rely on American products to maintain their relatively high living standards.
Countries connect logistically, and new ports for selling American merchandise and buying the up-and-coming countries’ raw materials are built.
Another upside is that with more US friendly fuel oil supplying ports, the US gains an advantage over each single port, because the American ships can easily redirect their shipping routes to bypass, sanction or blockade a specific trouble making port nation.
But globalism isn’t so dandy in the US politics any longer since many countries are partly surpassing America economically and/or getting means to process their own raw materials in order to sell the finished product, instead of the unprocessed product, making America lose money, influence and power.
Albeit, this is not a zero sum game and it has never been one. The world economy grows long term, and with that the American economy grows. Till we run out of raw materials and oil that is. We are close.
You may come back with a rebuttal that America buys a lot of technical stuff from China now, and why would they do that if it is like I claim? That is exactly my point! This is a struggle over control.
Roger M. Klang