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Central American Governments Consider Alternatives to Trade with U.S.

LADB Article ID: 80251
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2017-03-30
By: George Rodríguez

US President Donald Trump has the world in suspense regarding his foreign policy. For Central America, the uncertainty extends to the economic field. Trump’s aggressive stand against immigration threatens with massive deportation of people living in the US without documentation––an important number having fled the extreme violence and poverty of the Northern Triangle of Central America––thus reducing the volume of remittances to relatives and friends back home. Trump’s protectionist “America first” agenda also includes the potential renegotiation of pacts such as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has bound Canada, Mexico, and the US as partners since 1994, This has set off the alarm among Central American nations regarding the future of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), a commerce treaty that has been in force for a decade and also includes the Dominican Republic. Voices of concern have been heard throughout Central America, mainly in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, whose economies are strongly dependent on the US, both as trading partner and as the major source of cash in the form of billions of dollars in remittances.

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