Latin America & the Caribbean

CLDP has provided technical assistance to five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on a range of legal and commercial issues. Through agreements with USAID, CLDP has grown its presence in the region focusing on high-priority areas identified through technical exchanges between CLDP Attorney-Advisors and local counterparts. By promoting transparency initiatives, improving trade, supporting the development of small businesses and their inclusion in public procurement, and increasing the electrification of rural zones through microgrid infrastructure development, CLDP continues to build institutional capacity to fuel economic growth throughout the region. CLDP currently works in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.

Please click here to learn about CLDP's results in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 

 

Central America Microgrids

HONDURAS

CLDP has been working with the Honduran government since 2018 to develop regulations for both off-grid and integrated microgrids. Honduras currently faces an energy deficit due to outdated transmission lines and rural communities are cut off from electricity access due to their remote nature. By developing microgrid infrastructure, the Honduran government can help rural communities access electricity and allow for businesses and manufacturers to increase their energy resiliency despite the weak transmission. In addition to helping the Honduras government understand the fundamental policy choices of developing microgrid regulations, CLDP has also been working with the government to develop a model contract that can be used by communities looking to create a microgrid.

Please click here to learn more about CLDP’s Microgrids program in Honduras.
 
 

Central America Trade Facilitation

EL SALVADOR

CLDP closely supports El Salvador in ongoing transparency initiatives, including the implementation of its online notice and comment platform to allow inclusive public consultation in the drafting of trade regulations.  The Salvadoran notice and comment platform will allow U.S. companies to have a voice in developing the regulations that impact their exports to the country. Use of the platform will address regulatory barriers that are estimated to be the equivalent of a 20 percent tariff, which results in saved costs of over $1.4 billion to U.S.-Salvadoran trade and $6.2 billion to trade between the U.S. and the Northern Triangle region. CLDP is currently working with the Salvadoran government to enrich its TFA Article 1.4 Transparency Notification by incorporating additional trade ministries as well as the private sector to enhance transparency and accessibility to trade-related information.

GUATEMALA

CLDP collaborated with the Guatemalan government to improve its interagency coordination and publication practices. As a result of CLDP’s assistance, the Guatemalan government submitted its TFA Article 1.4 Transparency Notification to the WTO that identifies relevant trade-related information across ministerial websites. This increased transparency will improve the efficiency of cross border trade and has an estimated reduction in costs of over $357 million to U.S.-Guatemala trade. CLDP is currently supporting the Guatemalan government to strengthen its public consultation practices by harmonizing transparency processes across Guatemalan trade ministries.

HONDURAS

Working closely with the Honduran government, CLDP assists in improving interagency coordination and publication of trade-related information across agency websites in a non-discriminatory, easy-to-access manner. Honduras has completed its TFA Article 1.4 Transparency Notification and is working with its WTO representative to formally submit the notification to the WTO, which will have an estimated reduction in costs of $257 million to U.S.-Honduras trade. CLDP is continuing to assist the Honduran government foster increased transparency and efficiency through robust implementation of the WTO TFA.  

Please click here to learn more about CLDP’s Trade Facilitation program in Central America.
 
 

Textiles Competitiveness

EL SALVADOR

Despite textiles and apparel being El Salvador’s leading manufacturing sector and the primary employer of women, there exists a disconnect between the workforce and the focus of university curricula. In 2017, when CLDP launched the Textiles Competitiveness program, Salvadoran universities did not offer courses or curriculum dedicated to high-skilled positions within the industry, hindering the country’s development of human capacity, integration with U.S. industry, and global competitiveness. Over the course of three years, CLDP, in coordination with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the University of Missouri, supported the Catholic University of El Salvador (UNICAES) to develop El Salvador’s first five-year curriculum on textiles and apparel management. UNICAES professors, identified by program managers, will shadow counterpart U.S. professors from the University of Missouri to continue developing the courses.

Please click here to learn more about CLDP’s Textiles Competitiveness program in El Salvador.
 
 

Public Procurement

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

CLDP has worked with the Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR), civil society, and the Dominican private sector to increase transparency, competition, and small business access to its national procurement system. CLDP’s technical assistance approach has emphasized the importance of expanding the use of online procurement platforms, improving bid protest mechanisms, increasing communication between government and industry, and developing new contract methods and procedures for disaster response. Through training programs, private sector engagement events, and legal technical assistance engagements, CLDP provides the GODR with customized solutions and best practices to ensure that its procurement procedures are more transparent, effective, and consistent with the Dominican procurement law and its CAFTA-DR obligations. To ensure greater sustainability for this programming, CLDP is also working with the GODR to develop a certification program for its procurement personnel and procurement technical assistance centers within its small business development program.

Please click here to learn more about CLDP’s Public Procurement program in the Dominican Republic.
 
 
 

Upcoming Programs

There are no events for this region at this time.

CLDP in Action

November 17, 2020 - November 18, 2020

On November 17-18, 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with ITA and CBP, conducted a virtual workshop setting forth best practices for border agency coordination and publication of trade-related information to facilitate trade for more than 100 regional representatives from across Central America.

Inefficient agency coordination and disjointed publication of information collectively reduce the efficacy and transparency of the regulatory process in El Salvador, further engendering distrust between the private and public sectors. To address these areas of need, CLDP conducted a workshop that set forth best practices on optimizing operations through intergovernmental cooperation and centrally published information.

Participants included Salvadoran private sector representatives and officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Customs, Defense, Economy, Finance, Health, Infrastructure, Medicines, and Ports. They were joined by their counterparts from the Guatemalan, Honduran, and Costa Rican Ministries of Economy, Customs, and Agriculture. From the Salvadoran private sector, the American Chamber of Commerce in El Salvador and the Commission of Associations to Facilitate Trade in El Salvador (CIFACIL) participated.

The workshop saw high-level participation from both governments with opening remarks from the Salvadoran Secretary of Commerce, Jorge Miguel Kattán; Salvadoran Minister of Economy, Maria Luisa Hayem; CLDP Deputy Chief Counsel, Joe Yang; and the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Ronald Johnson. Following the workshop’s inauguration, experts showcased best practices for effective coordination among agencies, consolidation of information related to import and export procedures, and uniform publication of information across agency websites. Representatives from the governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras presented to regional and USG counterparts as well as the private sector on their efforts to identify publication gaps across ministerial websites and create internal strategies to ensure compliance with the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement’s (WTO TFA) publication of information commitments. In addition to government-to-government presentations, the Salvadoran private sector representatives shared their experience navigating websites of Salvadoran trade ministries and suggested areas for improvement. The workshop concluded with an interactive panel discussion where each country representative discussed their respective efforts to encourage trade through enhanced transparency initiatives and increased collaboration both internally with regional counterparts and externally with the private sector.

In preparation for the workshop, the Salvadoran participants performed internal assessments of their respective ministry’s implementation of Article 1 of the WTO TFA. Specifically, participants compiled an inventory of current procedures and documents related to TFA Art. 1.1 that can only be found or completed in paper form, current procedures and documents related to Art. 1.1 that can only be found or completed online/through the internet, and current plans or strategies to publish the procedures, documents, and information related to TFA Art. 1.1 online. In addition, participants examined TFA Art. 8.1, border agency cooperation, and identified the gaps in communication and cooperation between their ministries to support publication of trade information. The Article 1 assessment exercise served as the foundation for El Salvador to improve its interagency coordination and enrich its TFA Art. 1.4 transparency notification, which outlines the official sites where trade-related information is published. The Salvadoran government is working with the private sector to finalize the notification and plans to submit the updated notification to the WTO in the coming weeks.

As a result of this workshop, the Salvadoran government has improved its interagency coordination, and increased its understanding of the importance of publishing trade-related information in a non-discriminatory, easy-to-access manner. This workshop is part of a multiphase effort to promote transparency, cooperation, and coordination for the Salvadoran government, and to improve interregional trade in Central America.