“The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act will extend the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Engagement Act (HOPE Act) until 30 September 2020 .
“The CBTPA is currently set to expire on 30 September 2010, while key provisions of the HOPE legislation expire at the end of next year .
“US trade groups have welcomed the pact .
“The American Apparel and Footwear Association, whose members include major US retailers and importers, has described the legislation as a “positive step forward toward a long lasting economic recovery for the people of Haiti.”..”Because the apparel industry will be important to Haiti’s overall recovery, renewing and expanding preferences for Haiti’s apparel industry will bring needed certainty and predictability in recovery efforts,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M Burke .
“Under the proposed legislation, 200m square meter equivalents SMEs) of Haitian knit and woven clothing products would qualify for US duty-free treatment regardless of the origin of the inputs. This is nearly three times the 70m SMEs that currently benefit .
“The bill also extends until 30 December 2015 the value-added rule that provides duty-free treatment for apparel made in Haiti .
“We are confident Haiti will now be able to attract substantial investment that could create tens of thousands of jobs,” said Ron Sorini, principal of trade consultancy Sorini, Samet & Associates .
“He also believes HELP could accelerate ‘Plus One for Haiti,’ an initiative of US Trade Representative Ron Kirk that calls on the US apparel industry to source one percent of its imports from Haiti to help jumpstart the country’s factories after the quake .
“The HELP legislation makes it more cost effective for companies to participate in Plus One for Haiti,” he explained .