USA Accuses Guatemala of Breaking Labor Laws

The USA condemns the Guatemalan government for not guaranteeing acceptable working conditions or the right to form unions.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The US commercial representative, Ron Kirk, indicated that, "we want to see the Guatemalan government take specific and effective measures, including, if necessary, leglislative reform in order to reduce the systemic failings of the country's labor laws".

"After presenting the complaint, Guatemala and the USA will begin a 60 day consultation to try to resolve the dispute. If an agreement cannot be reached then various mechanisms within the FTA may be invoked that could lead to the USA demanding $15 million annual compensation," reports

More on this topic

Costa Rica Accuses El Salvador of Violating FTA

September 2013

The country has invoked the dispute settlement mechanism of the CAFTA-DR, over alleged violation by El Salvador of the tariff reduction program.

From a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica (COMEX):

The Ministry of Foreign Trade has requested the consultations mechanism against El Salvador, under the dispute settlement process of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States of America (CAFTA), after a refusal, on the part of Salvadoran authorities to implement the tariff reduction program outlined in the aforementioned treaty on the import of products originating in Costa Rica.

Guatemala to Reform 'Textile Factory Development Act'

June 2011

The government has made a committment to the E.U. to submit a reform bill and its regulations within 60 days, so as not to adversely affect the labor market.

The U.S. has complained since 2010 that the Guatemalan government has not ensured acceptable working conditions and rights of association for its workers.

Adjustments to CAFTA-DR

February 2011

The Dominican Republic, Central America and the U.S. agreed to make adjustments in agriculture, sanitary standards, textiles and disputes.

During the meeting held in El Salvador, government representatives began the meeting by reviewing developments in trade and investment.

Guatemala Responds to US Allegations

August 2010

The government accepts ministerial queries from the USA relating to the enforcement of the country's labor laws.

The Guatemalan government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website reports that several months ago it suggested a broad review of the free trade agreement implementation. To date it has not received a response from the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Central America.

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