Central America’s textile and apparel exports are on course to miss growth targets this year as Trump’s impeachment concerns and rising political instability in Latin America cripple orders and freeze investments.

“We were expecting double-digit growth of at least 10%, especially after how we did last year,” when the maquila industry targeting brands such as Target and Fruit of the Loom grew 12% in value, says Alejandro Ceballos, president of Vestex (Asociación del Vestuario y Textiles de Guatemala).

DR-CAFTA shipments in the first nine months of this year are up 7.36% to $8.6bn in value and 2.43% to 2.99m square metre equivalents (SME), according to Ceballos. However, that compares with gains of 12% and 9% on the same basis respectively in 2018, a record year for the sector. In 2019, Central American spinners had also expected gains of 7% in SME, just-style reports.