Harris to announce new private sector investments in Northern Triangle – CNN
The announcement follows an initial agreement, dubbed a “Call to Action,” released in May, that detailed $750 million in commitments from major companies like Microsoft, Mastercard, Chobani, Duolingo, Nespresso, Bancolombia and Davivienda.
In response to the months-old call, Nespresso is now working with over 1,200 farmers in the region, according to a White House fact sheet, and is sourcing coffees from farms in Honduras and El Salvador for the first time in the company’s history. Mastercard will announce a new memorandum of understanding with Guatemala’s government in an effort to eventually provide digital banking to the region. And Microsoft will announce it has expanded internet access to more than 1 million people in Honduras, including indigenous communities, as part of its pledge to expand internet access to as many as 3 million people in the region by July 2022.
For completely new commitments that will raise the total number of investments from $750 million to $1.2 billion for the region, Parkdale Mills will announce it intends to invest $150 million to build a new yarn spinning facility in Honduras, PepsiCo will announce $190 million of investments in northern Central America through 2025, and Cargill will invest an additional $150 million over the next five years “with the intention of improving farmer livelihoods and building economic resilience in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador,” according to the fact sheet.
One senior official said White House staff and federal agencies have made “dramatic progress” in laying down foundational work in the region that was neglected by the Trump administration. The aide credited Harris’ “vision” and “strategic approach” for making the gains possible.
“The vice president is committed to this project, not simply because it’s something that the President asked her to do, although that’s very important,” the official told reporters in a briefing call. “But that this region is our neighborhood. These people are our closest neighbors and partners. We want to do the right thing for root causes, but also as part of a broad approach to migration.”
Harris will announce the commitments in a joint event Monday, convened by the State Department, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for Central America, to support investment in the region and attended by multiple CEOs as she continues to try to leverage private sector influence as part of the administration’s strategy for the Northern Triangle, particularly in aiding economic concerns in the region.
“These private sector commitments touch on a range of strategic priorities in the region, including things like digital inclusion, climate smart agriculture, workforce development, gender equity and opportunity and supply chain resilience,” a second official said. “And all of this showing the momentum and progress that the vice president feels is necessary for the private …….