A WTO panel must now verify whether Colombia has complied with the ruling that forced it to suspend the collection of tariffs on imports of textiles and footwear coming from Panama.
With this new stage in the process being undertaken by both countries to try to resolve the tariff dispute, the final solution could be farther off than expected, since according to the World Trade Organization itself, the decision by the verification commission could take up to three months.
In 2016 exports from the free zone regime fell by 4% compared to 2015, and those from companies covered under the maquila incentive law, fell by 6%.
The negative results in foreign sales of companies operating under one of the two incentive schemes is due in part to the departure of several companies from the free zone regime, having been affected by the Emergent Employment Act.
The spanish company that manufactures textiles for hotels and hospitals, Resuinsa, has announced the opening in Costa Rica of a distribution center for the region.
Resuinsa announced that from its logistics center in Costa Rica it will distribute its products to Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as supplying the local market.The company manufactures and supplies textiles to hotel chains, hospitals and nursing homes.
This is good news for Central American textile manufacturers. We will have to wait and see what other protectionist measures will be implemented by President Trump.
The possibility that the United States buys textiles from Vietnam at lower prices than those paid by textile manufacturers in Central America seems to have now disappeared, however, in order to measure the true impact of the Trump protectionist policy on trade between US business and the region we will have to wait to see what other decisions on international trade deals are take by the new administration.
On January 10 Government Agreement No. 3-2017 concerning amendments to Government Agreement No. 533-89 "Regulations of the Law on the Promotion and Development of Export and Maquila Activities" was published in the official newspaper.
If the United States withdraws from the Transpacific Agreement, there will be less risk of competition from Asian countries for the Central American textile industry.
If the US does eventually abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), as promised by President-elect Donald Trump, the Central American textile industry could benefit from the elimination of the possibility that the US, its main market, will buy textiles from Vietnam at lower prices.Since the start of negotiations for the TPP, the Central American textile industry has tried to negotiate bilaterally with the US in order to minimize the negative effects that the TPP could have on the industry in the region.
In the agreement between the region and South Korea the rule of origin for Salvadoran Textiles was recognized, which will prevent the importation of fabrics to later be used in the manufacture of garments in El Salvador.
The Salvadoran government managed to include in the agreement the recognition by South Korea of a rule of origin for textiles, in order to protect the entire chain in a country where virtually all of the raw materials for the manufacture of garments are produced, with the exception of cotton.
Colombia is replacing the controversial mixed tariff with a threshold of $10 / kg for clothing and between $6 and $10 per pair of shoes, and will temporarily apply the maximum tariffs of 40% and 35%, respectively, and above the threshold, a tariff of 15%.
The Panamanian government has expressed its opposition to the new measures implemented by Colombia.The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Augusto Arosemena said the neighboring country"... can not adopt in parallel through supposed customs controls, measures which violate other obligations on market access and customs valuation, still less substantiate them using arguments that were rejected in two legal cases, as the supposed justification of enforcing laws on money laundering.
An end has been reached to the additional time period requested by Colombia to continue charging the 10% tariff on textiles and footwear coming from the Colon Free Zone, but it is not known whether they will continue to implement the measure.
Generates business opportunities by linking supply and demand of goods and services between Central America and the rest of the world.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
Phone: (506) 225 4786