Press Releases

Próspera Welcomes New Legislation To Encourage And Protect U.S. Investment In Honduras

The Protect U.S. Investments Act and the Americas Act are Complementary Approaches to Encourage the Castro Administration to Make Reasonable Policy Choices

January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ-9) introduced the Protect U.S. Investments Act to protect U.S. investors from expropriation. The Protect U.S. Investments Act expands available sanctions for the expropriation of U.S. investments to include the denial of visas for responsible public officials. The bill is a natural complement for the Americas Trade and Investment Act (Americas Act) proposed on January 11, 2023 by Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL-27) and Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), which seeks to encourage vastly increased levels of U.S. investment in Central and South America.

Honduras Próspera Inc., the promoter and organizer of Próspera ZEDE, welcomes both legislative approaches as a win-win for Honduras and the entire Western Hemisphere. “The goal of the Americas Act to generate prosperity throughout the Western Hemisphere is a laudable one we share wholeheartedly,” said CEO Erick A. Brimen. “But for the Americas Act to succeed, there needs to be more serious consequences for expropriation and threats of expropriation of U.S. investment, as proposed by the Protect U.S. Investments Act.”

U.S. investors raised and invested nearly US$ 100 million in reliance upon the “ZEDE” investment framework in Honduras that guaranteed 50 years of legal stability under CAFTA-DR. If such legal stability were respected by the Castro Administration, passage of the Americas Act would supercharge the ability of Honduras Próspera Inc. to raise and attract investment dollars to Honduras. But such respect apparently requires stronger sanctions for the expropriation of U.S. ZEDE investments, as contemplated in the Protect U.S. Investments Act, especially if the Honduran National Congress votes to ratify the repeal of the ZEDE investment framework without recognizing that its pre-existing promises of legal stability for existing ZEDEs must be respected.

The Protect U.S. Investments Act encourages governments to work with U.S. investors to move forward together and resolve disputes amicably instead of through expropriation. “The prospect of a future government of Honduras being held liable for billions of dollars in damages for investment treaty violations does not seem to provide today’s political actors with enough of an incentive to respect the rule of law,” observed Brimen. “With the introduction and passage of the Protect U.S. Investments Act, a needed message will be heard loud and clear throughout the Western Hemisphere: U.S. lawmakers will not let foreign government officials expropriate U.S. investments without consequence. This message is hand-in-glove with the Americas Act.”

The Protect U.S. Investments Act builds on the venerable Hickenlooper Amendment, 22 U.S.C. §2370(e), which mandates that the U.S. executive branch discontinue aid to foreign governments that expropriate U.S. investment. By expanding the range of available sanctions, the Act will make the Hickenlooper Amendment more effective in deterring such conduct while also encouraging investment by giving U.S. investors additional layers of comfort. Hopefully, the Americas Act combined with the Protect U.S. Investments Act will lead to exponentially more and stable investment in Honduras and the entire Western Hemisphere.

For more information, contact:

Download: Protect US Investments Act

Download: Congressman Chip Roy letter Ref. Honduras ZEDES

Download: Senators Hagerty and Cardin letter Ref. Honduras ZEDES