To many people's surprise, Donald Trump was elected president. Many are now fearful while others celebrate, but how will it really affect Costa Rica? Trump has said that he plans to renegotiate CAFTA, but that is something that has to be decided by a unanimous vote of the countries involved. Costa Rican President Solis stated that everything remains the same until Trump's plans are clear, but officials are proceeding in preparing contingencies for various scenarios.
It may affect a small portion of companies in Costa Rica since Trump said his focus was mainly in the manufacturing industry, but it may very easily go further and tax the customer service industry. There are plenty of US companies who have either created call centers or hire companies that run call center accounts within Costa Rica. These have provided jobs for many Costa Rican citizens, in particular university students.
There are many perspectives to the outcome, but only time will tell. One perspective is that if Costa Rica already provides the US with 44% of its exports, that number can be increased in benefit of both countries. In 2014, Costa Rican imports from the US provide 27 thousand jobs. If Costa Rica increases its imports it would increase US jobs as well as cutting shipping time from countries such as China. As the saying goes, "Time is Money".
Another bold move would be to negotiate on behalf of Costa Rica to create something similar to the ESTA program that allows specific countries to enter the US for 90 days and only pay $45 per person without the huge hassels of paper work, appointments and interviews.
Since Costa Rica is a well educated country with plenty of spending in education, perhaps a leave of these foreign companies may forces all the students that settle into complacent satisfaction at call centers, to innovate and create to improve Costa Rica speeding up the goal to be carbon neutral.
But then again... only time will tell.