U.S. investors could get involved in the project but asked for transparency in its management and legal certainty for contracts.
According to Walter Bastian, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the topic of the canal is "fascinating" and the Government will follow up to see if there is interest from U.S. investors being involved in the work.
Guatemala and the U.S. have proposed to reach an amicable settlement and not to activate the NAFTA arbitration panel, over labor demands.
The agreement would save the country paying a $15 million financial penalty.
Economy Minister Sergio de la Torre said, "We have a formal offer from the USTR, as yet verbal, to enter into an amicable settlement before going to an arbitration panel", adding that on the part of the executive branch there is a willingness to comply with the necessary actions to enforce labor laws.
The authorities see it as "inevitable" that the U.S. will take the country to such a process due to pressure from trade unions, fearing an impact on exports to the U.S. market.
"It's almost inevitable that the case will go to an arbitration panel," said Economy Minister Sergio de la Torre, speaking of the imminent start of a U.S. arbitration process against Guatemala for alleged breach of labor standards established by the DR-CAFTA.
Syndicated organizations from the U.S. and Guatemala have asked the U.S. government to initiate arbitration proceedings against the Government of Guatemala, over labor matters.
The American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and 6 Guatemalan unions, have asked the U.S. government to open an arbitration proceeding against Guatemala for allegedly not making progress in ensuring compliance with labor rights in the country.
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