CLDP Results in Latin America and the Caribbean

On August 9, 2016, CLDP launched its first Latin America-specific programming by leading a Workshop on Best Practices in Government Procurement in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. CLDP was invited to conduct the workshop by the Dirección General de Contrataciones Públicas (DGCP), the federal government procurement agency of the Dominican Republic, as part of their week-long 10th anniversary celebration. More than 100 representatives from the Dominican government, civil society, and private sector attended the workshop, which featured remarks from CLDP’s chief counsel, Stephen Gardner, as well as presentations from Christopher Yukins, Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program at George Washington University Law School, and Althea Kireilis, Chief Procurement and Contract Management Officer in the Executive Office of the President. The event marked the beginning of CLDP’s two-year, USAID-funded project intended to strengthen the Government of the Dominican Republic’s capacity and processes in government procurement, in order to improve citizen security and economic opportunity.

In addition to the Dominican Republic, CLDP has been asked on a number of occasions to provide technical assistance to nations in the Western Hemisphere, particularly with respect to transparency and trade issues. Several countries have indicated that they would like CLDP’s assistance as they look to enter free trade agreements with the U.S.

Upcoming Programs

June 4, 2020 - June 5, 2020

On April 21-22, 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with ITA, CBP, and USDA, will conduct a regional trade facilitation workshop on public consultation for Guatemalan government and private sector representatives. Government officials from Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras will also participate in the workshop to encourage regional integration. The Guatemalan government can improve the transparency and effectiveness of the regulatory process through  transparent and consistent public consultation processes. Uniform public consultation mechanisms across Guatemalan trade ministries will attract investment, stimulate economic growth, and improve prosperity through increased trade across Central America.

CLDP in Action

February 24, 2020 - February 27, 2020
U.S. delegation on a capacity visit to Industrias Merlet, a large Salvadoran textiles exporter.

On February 24-26, 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR, organized a series of consultations for a delegation of 11 U.S. textiles industry experts to assess Salvadoran textile and apparel capabilities in San Salvador, El Salvador. The U.S. delegation was also accompanied by representatives from USTR, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and ITA's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).

Salvadoran textile and apparel producers of all sizes struggle with effective design and marketing, which affects their ability to create new business opportunities with U.S. customers. These struggles are further intensified by lack of effective higher education programs in design and marketing in El Salvador. Similarly, apprentice and smaller-scale U.S. designers and entrepreneurs often face challenges finding companies to produce small runs or custom products. Recognizing the mutual benefits of marrying these opportunities, CLDP and USTR brought a delegation of U.S. fashion SMEs and educators, to meet with nine Salvadoran enterprises of varying sizes to foster a dialogue exploring trade and education opportunities. The Salvadoran enterprises included large, sophisticated exporting companies, small and medium-sized textiles and apparel producers, budding fashion entrepreneurs, and relevant government agency representatives. During the consultations, U.S. experts advised Salvadoran colleagues on practical methods to improving marketing strategies, developing business opportunities, enhancing supply chain efficiencies, and addressing sourcing issues within the CAFTA region.

As a result of these consultations, the Salvadoran counterparts gained an in-depth understanding of how U.S. fashion SMEs are trained and operate their businesses, what challenges they face, and how both parties can collaborate on robust business opportunities. The consultations also contribute to the CLDP-USTR Program’s sustainability through educational exchange opportunities between the participants. These consultations form part of CLDP-USTR’s three-year capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran industry and enhance export opportunities along the full US–CAFTA-DR supply chain.

The consultations concluded with a one-day workshop on textile and apparel provisions within the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) on February 27, 2020. In attendance were more than 125 Northern Triangle textile and apparel industry representatives from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as Salvadoran government officials and university representatives. The Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles, Bill Jackson, opened the workshop with a discussion on CAFTA textile and apparel trade in terms of global commerce. Over the course of the workshop, Salvadoran participants were introduced to technical textile and apparel provisions of the CAFTA-DR including short supply, verification procedures, and rules of origin. USG experts encouraged participants to apply the technical knowledge to their own businesses through active discussions and interactive case studies. The workshop aimed to strengthen the industry’s understanding and utilization of the CAFTA-DR to enhance the U.S.-regional supply chain. As a result of this workshop, industry representatives from the Northern Triangle - El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras - will be better able to utilize the CAFTA-DR to source yarn and textiles and to strengthen the regional supply chain, thereby increasing economic growth and development for the industry in the region.