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Originally published Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 9:39 PM

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US would be willing to invest in Nicaragua canal

A U.S. Department of Commerce official says the United States and U.S. investors would be willing to invest in the building of a canal across the middle of Nicaragua as long as the process is transparent.

The Associated Press

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua —

A U.S. Department of Commerce official says the United States and U.S. investors would be willing to invest in the building of a canal across the middle of Nicaragua as long as the process is transparent.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Walter Bastian says that he finds the project "fascinating" and that the U.S. government will follow up to see if there is interest from U.S. investors.

Bastian said Tuesday while visiting Nicaragua that for the U.S. it is important that the process of awarding contracts is transparent and that those contracts have legal certainty.

The Chinese company HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd. was awarded the canal project. Experts say it could take 11 years to finish, cost $40 billion and require digging 130 miles (200 kilometers) of waterway.

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