Panama has selected Potomac Partners DC for a push to amend the US Passenger Vessel Services Act to designate Panama as a “distant foreign port.”

That reclassification would help Panama “obtain a more strategic advantage in shipping and tourism,” according to Potomac’s government relations proposal.

The firm will develop a narrative that outlines the US national security benefits that will result in granting the DFP designation to a top US ally in Central America.

The DFP also may help Panama to develop a new manufacturing base in the region.

Rick Alcalde, owner of Potomac, and Dan Feliz, managing partner, handle the Panama push.

Alcalde has extensive experience working with the Cruise Lines International Assn. and several of its members. Feliz is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, nuclear engineer and former submarine officer.

Potomac will receive a $100K advocacy fee for the Panama program that began Aug. 26 and runs through the rest of the year.