President Trump welcomed Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to the White House on Monday by reminding him that the U.S. built the Panama Canal.
"The Panama Canal is doing quite well," Trump told Varela in the Oval Office before their closed-door meeting. "I think we did a good job building it, right?"
Both leaders expressed confidence in the U.S.-Panama relationship in brief statements ahead of their working luncheon.
"Things are going well in Panama. The relationship is very strong," Trump said. "We are developing new things to do."
Trump and Varela will discuss transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and illegal migration during their visit, according to the White House. The two are also expected to address recent problems in Panama's neighbor, Venezuela, where hyperinflation and political unrest have sparked months of violent protests.
More than a dozen foreign leaders have visited Trump at the White House or Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach, Fla. estate, since he took office in January. Most recently, Trump welcomed the president of Romania to Washington for a bilateral meeting and joint press conference, during which he affirmed the U.S. commitment to the NATO defense mandate he declined to endorse on his first foreign trip.
Trump has previously done business in Panama. His eponymous hotel in Panama City, the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, is the tallest building in that country.