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Guatemala hopes to benefit from trade war

Guatemala is preparing for an increase in business from the United States-based apparel brands that might need to shift sourcing partnerships away from China. With demand for sustainable sourcing from apparel brands, mills in the region are preparing to meet that need. Guatemala’s textile industry is more high end. The quality—whether in fabric or sewing and cutting—is a lot higher than other parts of Asia or even in Honduras or Haiti.

A hot topic of discussion at the 28th annual Apparel Sourcing Show, held from May 14–16 at the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel and Convention Center, was the escalating United States–China tariff war and greater sustainability options across the supply chain. Exhibitors with sustainable offerings were able to accommodate the growing demand for eco-friendly supplies. Liztex, one of the largest textile manufacturers in Central America, located in Amatitlán, Guatemala, saw strong trend toward producing fibers from recycled sources.

But while Guatemalan companies are excited about a growing opportunity to increase apparel and textile production, they are also concerned about whether their country can compete with China’s enormous production capacity. Investments to expand the country’s capacity would be necessary to accommodate demand that could result from the trade war.