Two-Minute Take: Promoting Prosperity in Central America with Targeted U.S. Trade Policy

Investment in the region would promote industrialization in Central America, boosting productivity and prosperity there and opening job opportunities that would encourage Central Americans to stay home instead of seeking to emigrate to the United States.

A vicious cycle of poverty, rampant crime, and institutional weakness in the Central American region is driving much of the recent irregular immigration to the United States. Meanwhile, as China has become a disruptive player in global markets and a revisionist geopolitical force, it is seeking to exploit Central America’s weakness to challenge American predominance in our immediate region. These two core interests of immigration and the China threat, each central to our national security and future prosperity, intersect in Central America.