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Haiti - USA : The ITC Survey on US-Haitian trade and trade preferences
01/04/2022 10:15:01

Haiti - USA : The ITC Survey on US-Haitian trade and trade preferences
At the request of the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) is undertaking a new investigation into U.S.-Haitian trade and the impact of trade preference programs (HOPE and HELP) on Haiti's economy and workers and whether these preferences should be extended ("US-Haiti Trade: Impact of US Preference Programs on Haiti’s Economy and Workers, Inv. No. 332-590")

The Commission's report will provide an overview of Haiti's international trade since 1980, with particular emphasis on the impact of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Haitian Hemisphere Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006, HOPE II in 2008, and the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) in 2010, and the Trade Acts of 2000 and 2002 on Haiti's trade relations with the United States, l economy of Haiti and the workers.

The findings of the USITC investigation will likely be used by lawmakers to determine whether to extend the HOPE and HELP trade preference programs for the benefit of Haitian manufacturers beyond their scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2025.

Haiti is currently the 13rd largest source of apparel to the US market, representing 1.36% of imports by volume. Key to the country’s growth as a sourcing partner has been the 1983 Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, and the amendments that were made to it via the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, and the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act.

Late last year, US senators were weighing legislation to extend the HOPE Act and HELP Act through 2035. At the time, Steve Lamar, President and CEO of American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) said "Haiti has experienced many hardships in recent years, from natural disasters to political unrest. Renewing these programmes encourages companies to continue to work in Haiti and grow the industry there. While a stronger industry is beneficial for the Haitian people, it also supports thousands of American jobs that rely on Haiti as a market for US-made textiles."

The USITC investigation will prepare a public report providing : an overview of the Haitian economy and its competitiveness; an examination of the role of US preferential programs in shaping the Haitian economy; and Case Studies on goods currently and historically exported from Haiti such as clothing, tropical fruits, and sporting goods, including baseballs, softballs, and basketballs.

The USITC expects to submit its report to the Committee no later than December 22, 2022.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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