The Central America–Dominican Republic Apparel And Textile Council (CECATEC-RD) Call To Action

NIVEL, Guatemala — August 24, 2021 — Today, the Central America–Dominican Republic Apparel and Textile Council (CECATEC-RD) launched a call to action in order to increase trade, investment, and employment in the CAFTA-DR Region.

At a meeting today, private sector associations from the textile, apparel and free trade zone sectors from Central America and the Dominican Republic noted that new opportunities to bring jobs and prosperity to the CAFTA-DR Region have emerged due to changes in global supply chains, the effects of the Pandemic in different textile and apparel producers, and the interest of many brands and retailers to source near to the U.S. market.

The recent evolution of consumer behavior and the increased use of e-commerce also bring forth new opportunities for the U.S.–Central America–D.R. supply chain. In order to reap the benefits of these increased opportunities, the Council underscored the importance of increasing capacity by promoting greater foreign direct investment to the region, complementing recent increases in local investment.

The private sector associations called on other actors both from the private sector, public sector and international financial institutions to support this call to action and convene a meeting to implement the necessary actions to increase investment, trade and employment in this region. This economic activity is a key growth and employment driver in most of the CAFTA-DR countries, making it an important part of any solution addressing the root causes of irregular migration from Central America to the United States.

CECATEC-RD also stressed the importance of maintaining the rules of the game under the CAFTA-DR Agreement, including the “yarn forward” rule of origin, which serves as the backbone that holds together the US-CAFTA-DR textile and apparel supply chain. The investment in recent years has been based on that premise — and there is substantial programmed private investment currently in the pipeline geared towards more verticalization of the supply chain and higher value added products. This trend risks being reversed- affecting the creation of badly needed jobs — if there is a change in the rules.

Daniel Facusse, president of CECATEC mentioned that “Our industry is poised to play a key role in achieving investment-led growth and employment generation in our countries. However, any changes to the Agreement could greatly harm it, as well as the prospect for the region ́s post pandemic recovery thus undermining the work we have been doing over the years, which has helped bring social and economic development to our countries”.

The private sector associations expressed that the Agreement has important provisions, such as the short supply mechanism, which give the necessary flexibility for those needing to source materials not available in the region and would be open to review this mechanism to ensure it stays transparent, efficient and responsive to the needs of the supply chain.

Posted August 25, 2021

Source: The Central America – Dominican Republic Apparel and Textile Council (CECATEC-RD)