Born in 1920 in Seattle, Washington, Phillip Harman was best known as an affiliate of non-profit organizations opposed to the Panama Canal Treaties of the 1970s which transferred the control of the Panama Canal from the U.S. government to the nation of Panama effective in the year 2000.
In 1953, Phillip Harman married Graciela Arango, granddaughter of Jose Arango, who helped found the first government of Panama in 1903. Harman lived in Panama during the 1950s and 1960s, and he was an opponent of communism there. Later, he became a California businessman.
Harman started his Panama Canal lobbying in 1969. The prior canal treaty between the U.S. and Panama was made in 1903. Harman worked for the Canal Zone Non-Profit Information Corporation and the Committee for Better Panama and U.S. Relations. In those capacities, he corresponded with U.S. presidents, U.S. Congresspeople, and other U.S. government officials.
Harman opposed the military dictatorship in Panama, and he feared that communism may be established there, threatening U.S. interests. He hoped to restore former president of Panama Arnulfo Arias, who had been deposed from power.
- "Conservative Lobby Bids U.S. Keep Panama Canal." Miami Herald. November 5, 1975.
- "Canal Issue Is a Profession and an Obsession to Harman." Miami Herald. May 18, 1976.
- Evans, G. Russell and Phillip Harman. "The Panama Canal Treaties Swindle: Consent to Disaster." Carrboro, NC: Signal Books, 1986.