A U.S. congressional delegation visited textile and apparel facilities in an industrial park in Choloma, Honduras, on Friday, where they witnessed the significant investments, expansion and job creation in the country’s textile and apparel sector and the U.S. fibers and yarns used in the production process.
The delegation, led by Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability, toured several companies with facilities in Honduras, including Parkdale Mills, Elcatex and SanMar, all of which are expanding their footprint in the region.
Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) also joined the delegation, which included Laura Dogu, U.S. ambassador to Honduras, as well as U.S. military and embassy officials, and U.S. and Honduran industry executives.
These new investments in the industrial park were recently highlighted by Vice President Kamala Harris, who called on private industry to promote economic opportunity in the region to address the root causes of migration. In addition, the delegation met with U.S. and Honduran textile and apparel executives to discuss this critically important co-production chain.
The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) has spawned a textile and apparel coproduction chain, resulting in $12.6 billion in two-way trade and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in the region. Nearly $1 billion of historic textile and apparel investment is anticipated this year alone, according to the National Council of Textile Executive (NCTO).
“Today’s visit to Honduras’s textile and apparel plants highlights the region’s substantial progress and growth in job creation,” Correa said. “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 with 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.”
Katko said that 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 U.S. economy.”
“We deeply appreciate this visit to the Honduran textile and apparel industry by this congressional leadership team, our ambassador and government officials,” NCTO president and CEO Kim Glas said. “The critical importance of the U.S.-CAFTA-DR to the region and the significant investments that are being made by this sector cannot be overstated.”
Glas noted that CAFTA-DR and the textile rules included in it have driven investment and support more than 530,000 jobs in the region.
“This is a pivotal moment for the coproduction chain between the U.S. and regional textile and apparel industries, in light of onshoring and nearshoring trends,” she added. “We look forward to working with Congress, the administration, and our regional partners on fostering event stronger ties and growth in the hemisphere.”