Archive | Central America

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  • US 2016 apparel imports fall in spite of year-end spurt. Price falls accelerated

    US apparel imports (in square metres) grew 3.4% in December 2016 over December 2015, though falls in the previous six months a 2016 annual fall of 1.1%.

  • US growth March 15

    US apparel imports return to normal growth in first quarter

    US apparel imports (measured in square metres of apparel) appeared to soar 20% in March over March 2014 after erratic movements earlier in the year.

  • Hanesbrands rated in Best Central American Places to Work

    The Great Place to Work Institute named Hanesbrands the third best multinational company to work for in Central America and the Caribbean.

  • Political disputes underpin most current developing world violence

    Disturbingly similar, deep rooted, tensions – seldom directly linked to garment industry issues – are at the root of most violence recently disturbing Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Thailand, Egypt, and Malaysia. There are interesting questions about why similar problems have not hit other major garment manufacturing centres – but at the end of 2013, political violence was probably looking a greater risk for many garment buyers than risks from bad weather, ethical concerns or unpredictable shifts in input prices.

  • Political disputes underpin most current developing world violence

    Disturbingly similar, deep rooted, tensions – seldom directly linked to garment industry issues – are at the root of most violence recently disturbing Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Thailand, Egypt, and Malaysia. There are interesting questions about why similar problems have not hit other major garment manufacturing centres – but at the end of 2013, political violence was probably looking a greater risk for many garment buyers than risks from bad weather, ethical concerns or unpredictable shifts in input prices.

  • Central America starts bidding up wages and union rights.

    A number of Central American countries took strong steps during March to improve wage levels or union rights. Their motivations varied considerably.

  • EU/Central America deal appears to offer origin-blind clothing concession

    The EU has agreed to allow some Central American garments duty-free access, even when made from Asian fabric, Honduran garment spokesmen claimed on May 20.

  • EU-Central American trade talks collapse demonstrate their importance

    Talks between the EU and Central America on a free trade area seem to have collapsed – but the reasons for collapse imply the deal might have been more interesting to garment importers than was originally imagined.

  • Central America sales turnaround linked to investment spurt

    The most remarkable change in fortunes in OTEXA’s preliminary US import data for March has been in Central America. Imports from CAFTA grew 24% in March over 2009 after an 18% fall over 2008 in 2009.

  • Industry groups claim Honduras problems are damaging US business

    U.S. textile, clothing and retail trade associations claimed on September 25 that the confusion in Honduras is damaging businesses in the US and elsewhere in Central America.

  • Bolivian preference loss hits whole region

    The US government withdrew Bolivia’s duty-free access to the US under the APTDEA agreement from December 15, 2008. The action was mainly because the US felt Bolivia was not doing enough to eradicate drug trafficking, though many believe it was also a mark of US irritation at Bolivia’s left-leaning government. Bolivia’s use of APTDEA for apparel exports was close to trivial (around $18 mn’s worth in 2007 and 2008) – but the loss has sparked off a remarkable number of knock-on effects

  • Central American exports take sharp downturn

    Central American apparel exports fell sharply in January. Buyers cut orders even from countries like Honduras, which had seen buoyant growth throughout 2008.

  • Cuba announces industry upgrading

    Cuba’s ambitions seem rather more modest than its DR-CAFTA neighbours. 1,981 new sewing machines were installed in the country’s clothing factories during 2007 as part of what Cuban Minister of the Light Industry Luis Hernandez Bermudez called a "comeback in the Cuban textile industry" at a press conference on April 3.

  • Report on Guatemala attacks ‘unfair’

    Guatemala’s Ambassador to Korea, Rafael Salazar, has complained that February TV reports in Korea about Korean garment executives being targeted for violence in his country are sensationalist and untrue.

  • Gildan closure at El Progreso loses 1800 Jobs

    T-shirt maker Gildan Activewear Inc. is shutting its El Progreso sewing plant in Honduras at the end of September with the loss of 1,800 jobs. The factory has been the focus of allegations of poor treatment of workers, but Gildan says the closure is due to the fact that it is no longer cost-competitive. “It’s purely an economically driven decision in light of our commitment to constantly driving down our cost structure,” said chief financial officer Laurence Sellyn. “It became our highest-cost facility as we added sewing capacity in Haiti and Nicaragua” El Progreso’s machinery will be moved to new sewing plants in Haiti and Nicaragua. Montreal-based Gildan has been investigated by two US-based labour rights monitoring organizations – The Fair Labor Association and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) – over allegations it violated employees’ human rights. Workers had been trying to organize a union at El Progreso, one of four Gildan plants in Honduras where it employs 5,000.