Multinational clothing firm Hanes last week closed one of its Costa Rican clothing assembly plants.
The plant, located in Barreal, a district of Heredia, north of San José, employed 120 people at the time of closing, down from 800 one year ago.
The plant assembled women and girls underwear for the U.S. market.
Hanes cited sluggish demand in the United States as the main reason behind its decision, which came a week after VF Corporation, the world s largest clothing manufacturer and, until last year, Costa Rica s largest clothing exporter, announced it would shut down its Costa Rican operations (TT, June 27).
Foreign Trade Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz said the decision was in part influenced by delays in Costa Rica s approval of the legislation required to join the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA).
The plant first opened in 1992. Hanes continues to operate four textile plants in the country, employing 2,200 workers.
Three of those plants are located in Cartago, east of San José, and the other is in Grecia, a Central Valley coffee town northwest of the capital.