Following his discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this month, Giammattei said during an interview with the Atlantic Council on Wednesday that more access for exports would create economic opportunities that may entice individuals to stay in Guatemala.
Giammattei said he told Harris that Guatemala needs access to open markets to attract companies and to create jobs and economic opportunities for residents.
He called for more opportunities to export avocados, berries and textiles like yarn. He also said that raw materials from the country could be sent to Mexico to help build U.S. electronics.
Giammattei said that roughly three-quarters of Guatemalans who migrate do so because they don’t have jobs.
As previously reported by Fox News, Harris made her first trip to Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month after being tasked with addressing the "root causes" of the immigration crisis at the end of March.
During a joint press conference with Giammattei, Harris cautioned migrants against making the "dangerous trek" to the U.S. border, where she said they would be turned away as she instead championed methods of legal immigration.
Giammattei noted at the time, and once again on Wednesday, that the U.S. has been asked to send a clearer message on immigration.
The U.S. continues to battle a surge in migrant encounters at the U.S. border, which totaled more than 180,000 in May, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Harris and the president have yet to visit the country’s southern border, though Harris told Univision in an interview last week that she planned to do so. She declined to give a date when asked.
FOX Business’ R.N. White contributed to this report.