US efforts to create economic opportunities in the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (known as the Northern Triangle) are gaining momentum, with the total sum of investments committed by American companies reaching US$4.2 billion.
The White House has yet to make the names of these new companies public. The previous pledge included Microsoft, Google, Visa and GAP.
The US warned Northern Triangle governments against a questionable business climate, urging them to curb corruption and uphold labor rights to maintain investors’ interest.
“[The Central America Forward framework] incorporates a focus on good governance and labor rights into this public-private partnership, key priorities under the Strategy that are also essential in ensuring the success of our private sector partners,” the White House stated in a press release.
Illegal immigration from Central American countries has long been a burden on US authorities, necessitating millions of dollars in government spending on border security and asylum centers.
More than two million people are estimated to have fled the Northern Triangle nations since 2014, with gang violence and poverty being the major factors behind the exodus.
Hondurans account for the largest share of migrants intercepted by US border authorities, closely followed by Guatemalans and Salvadorans.
The Biden administration believes that better economic opportunities will ultimately reduce gang violence, persuading young locals to turn away from a life of crime and pursue education and well-paying professional jobs.
The Biden administration agreed to form a team of mentors to train young people in the skills demanded by the private sector and offer salaries to those willing to carry out community services.