The US has allowed a dispute settlement process related to labour enforcement in Guatemala to remain suspended for four weeks while it reviews fresh reforms made by the country’s government.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Mike Froman, who visited the central American country earlier this month, is to look into information concerning legal reforms and actions to strengthen labour law enforcement, and whether these are leading to concrete improvements to Guatemalan workers’ rights.

The US and Guatemala agreed an 18-point Enforcement Plan on the issue in April 2013, but in March the USTR threatened to reactivate an arbitration panel if Guatemala did not improve enforcement of worker rights.

Since then, the Guatemalan government has adopted a number of reforms, but Froman believes it has yet to fully implement its obligations under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

The US government retains the right to reactivate the arbitration panel at any point over the next four weeks.