By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  A man, a plan, a canal:  Panama.

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The man in this case is Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, and his plan is to join vice president Joe Biden next week for two days touring the Panama Canal.

Nutter says he was invited by Biden to look at the expansion of the canal, a project that is expected to double its capacity.

The mayor says that expansion could prove a boost to the Port of Philadelphia:

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“When you look at the expansion of the Panama Canal, the size of ships that will be able to come through, the number of containers on those ships: we want those ships coming up the Delaware River, which is being dredged.  That allows us to take bigger ships, more cargo.”

Joining them will be the mayors of Baltimore and Atlanta.

Nutter this past week returned from a trip to Britain and Israel (see related story), a visit that he said was aimed at boosting Philadelphia’s international profile.

The Philadelphia Daily News has reported that Nutter’s out-of-state trips since taking office in 2008 have cost taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

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