Haiti – USA : The future of the textile assembly industry in Haiti in danger
Last week, the Ambassador of Haiti in Washington, Hervé Denis explained by videoconference, before the Sub-Committee on Trade of the Ways and Means Committee of the American House of Representatives, the importance of the extension of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) entered into force on October 5, 2000 which will expire on September 30, 2020 and urged Congress to renew the CBTPA before its expiry.
This legislation provides economic benefits for the United States and for Haiti. The CBTPA provides duty free for textile and apparel assemblies made from US yarns and fabrics, allowing eligible countries to compete with China and other Asian apparel suppliers. This provision, among other benefits, supports the production of thread in the United States and encourages investment in this sector. The assembly industry in Haiti is the industrial foundation of the country’s economy and its existence depends on the preferences granted under the CBTPA and additional HOPE/HELP programs.
According to the Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH), this industry, which provides approximately 60,000 direct jobs in Haiti, began to suffer from the delay recorded in the renewal of the CBTPA from the beginning of the current year, preceding the pandemic of Covid-19. Buyers and investors reluctant to make new commitments as the future of the program remains uncertain. Additionally, it should be noted that the demand for clothing has also declined and potential buyers who are still able to place orders are unwilling to commit until Congress renews the CBTPA before its expiration date. The future of the assembly industry in Haiti, and therefore the jobs and economic stability of many Haitian families, will remain in danger until legislation is renewed.