During the first eight months of 2022, Honduras exported US$2.23bn in finished textiles and apparel to the US, of which US$1.57bn’s worth was sold under special access provided by the CAFTA-DR (Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement), according to OTEXA.
By contrast, Mexico, shipped $4.3bn in the first eight months of this year 2022. Honduras, which maintains a multi-party democracy, despite high crime rates, is the leading supplier to the US of clothing and textiles in the CAFTA-DR region, followed by Nicaragua ($1.74bn), El Salvador ($1.39m), Guatemala ($1.36m), the Dominican Republic ($522m), and Costa Rica ($42.5m).
That is why it is no surprise the clothing and textile industry is the leading export sector in Honduras, directly responsible for 7% of the country’s GDP, delivering 173,000 jobs, according to the Honduran Association of Manufacturers (AHM -Asociación Hondureña de Maquiladores), the country’s key clothing and textile industry group.
Honduras is also a key buyer of yarn from the US, with $1bn’s worth of imports purchased, equivalent to 23% of the total US yarn sales.
This will put pressures on top apparel suppliers to the US like Vietnam, China, Bangladesh etc.