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The delegation visited textile and apparel facilities in an industrial park in Choloma, led by congressman Lou Correa, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on oversight, management and accountability. The group toured several companies with facilities in Honduras, including Parkdale Mills, Elcatex, and SanMar, all of which are expanding their footprint in the region.

These new investments in the industrial park were recently highlighted by vice President Kamala Harris who is calling on private industry to promote economic opportunity in the region to address the root causes of migration.

The delegation is also meeting with other top-level US and Honduran textile and apparel executives to discuss what it calls “this critically important co-production chain.”

In addition to Correa, the group also includes representatives John Katko, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Tony Gonzales, and US Ambassador to the Republic of Honduras, Laura Dogu.

The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) has spawned a textile and apparel coproduction chain, resulting in US$12.6bn in two-way trade and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in the region, according to the National Council of Textile Organization (NCTO). Nearly $1bn of historic textile and apparel investment is anticipated this year alone, it adds.

“Today’s visit to Honduras’ textile and apparel plants highlights the region’s substantial progress and growth in job creation. Seeing first-hand the significant investments, expansions and job creation that have taken place in the Honduras textiles and apparel sector demonstrates the region’s commitment to supporting long-term development, which includes measures to foster economic opportunities. I alongside my colleagues will continue to collaborate with Central American countries to ensure that we are expanding job creation and working with our allies to continue to promote stability and progress in the Northern Triangle,” says Correa.

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Katko adds: “Importantly, these investments will improve supply chain security by advancing nearshoring and onshoring of textiles and apparel that I hope to see replicated in other industries critical to the US economy. I look forward to sharing what I have learned with my colleagues in Washington so we can continue to build on this progress.”

NCTO president and CEO Kim Glas notes: “We deeply appreciate this visit to the Honduran textile and apparel industry by this congressional leadership team, our ambassador, and government officials. The critical importance of the US-CAFTA-DR to the region and the significant investments that is being made by this sector cannot be overstated. This agreement and the textile rules included have driven massive investment and support over 530,000 jobs in the region and 500,000 in Central America.

“This is a pivotal moment for the coproduction chain between the US and regional textile and apparel industries, in light of onshoring and nearshoring trends. We look forward to working with Congress, the administration, and our regional partners on fostering event stronger ties and growth in the hemisphere.”