US-China trade war offers opportunities for Central America, says Trump advisor

Mauricio Claver- Carone, an advisor to US President Donald Trump on Latin American and the Caribbean, has said that the worsening relations between the US and China present opportunities for Central America. A survey from September 2019 showed that some 13% of US companies in China planned to leave or had already left the country, with approximately a quarter of these returning to the US and the majority to move elsewhere. In an interview with Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre, Claver-Carone said that Central America stood to gain in this climate as the US encourages its companies to look to the South. Integrating the region into supply chains would benefit the US, as well as the region, by boosting economic development and reducing migration.

Of Guatemala, Claver-Carone cited the country’s “very good financial system” and support of companies in different sectors, from textiles to energy, as attributes to attract investment. The country’s strategic position with its Pacific and Atlantic access is another boon, according to President of the Guatemalan-American Chamber of Commerce, Juan Pablo Carrasco. However, improvements in infrastructure, human capital, and technology are needed to make the country competitive, said Juan Carlos Paiz, the President of Fundesa (Foundation for the Development of Guatemala).

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