Concern about the Future of the Relationship with USA

Guatemala's business sector responded with concern to President Trump's warning about imposing export tariffs and levies on remittances and transfers.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The announcement made by the president of the United States comes after the Guatemalan Constitutional Court issued a ruling in which it limits its foreign policy functions to the Executive, by granting a provisional injunction that prevents the negotiation or signing of any agreement.

The appeal, which was presented by a group of former foreign ministers, a former presidential candidate and the Human Rights Ombudsman, seeks to prevent President Jimmy Morales from signing an agreement with the U.S. government to make Guatemala a Safe Third Country for immigrants seeking asylum from the U.S. government.

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Juan Carlos Tefel, president of the Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations (Cacif), explained to that "... there is concern about President Trump's statements and warnings. (It's about) 35% of the country's exports, for more than US$4 billion and for remittances of US$9 billion and more than one million people would be affected by employment if they put these tariffs on Guatemalan products'."

Alejandro Ceballos, president of the Apparel and Textile Commission (Vestex), attached to the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport), stated that "... Guatemala depends on the U.S. economy and classified it as a 'strategic error' in terms of trade and market, if the tariff is implemented. In any case, if it is complied with, it would be 'fatal' for the national production, because of the dependence on commercial exchange as well as in sending transfers. This would kill the economy and provoke more migration. For the businessmen, it would put an end to business."

The outlook for the region has changed, since days ago CentralAmericaData reported that in the revision of the FTA the authorities of Central America and the U.S. ruled out that the U.S. government had plans to apply trade sanctions against Central American countries in retaliation for the deepening of the immigration problem.

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