Goodyear pulls out of Venezuela, citing sanctions

Goodyear announced Monday it is pulling out of Venezuela amid a crumbling local economy and increased U.S. sanctions.

“Goodyear-Venezuela has made the difficult decision to stop producing tires,” the tire manufacturer said in a statement. “Our goal had been to maintain its operations, but economic conditions and U.S. sanctions have made this impossible.”

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The employees' union was informed through a lawyer of the closure, according to Reuters, which added that workers will receive 10 tires on top of their severance payments.

It's unclear if U.S. sanctions led directly to the latest high-profile corporate exit from Venezuela, as they do not cover most commercial activities.

The Trump administration has focused its hemispheric policy around isolating the leaders of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, which national security adviser John Bolton dubbed "The Troika of Tyranny" in a Miami speech last month.

The administration has increased sanctions against individuals in Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's inner circle, and laid out wider bans on sectors such as gold, but has avoided a full oil embargo.

Still, a deeply recessed internal market and investors' fears of potential further sanctions have many international companies reducing their Venezuelan operations to a bare minimum, if not altogether abandoning the country.

--Updated at 2:01 p.m.