The Haitian Economy and the HOPE Act
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In December 2006, the 109th Congress passed the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006 HOPE I to assist Haiti with expanding trade in the onetime thriving apparel industry as a way to stimulate economic growth. The act provided special rules for the duty-free treatment of select apparel imports from Haiti made from less expensive third country inputs e.g., non-regional yarns, fabrics, and components provided Haiti met rules of origin and eligibility criteria that require making progress on worker rights, poverty reduction, and anti-corruption measures. Early assessments of the effectiveness of HOPE I, however, were disappointing. The 110th Congress responded by amending HOPE I with HOPE II, the Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2008. HOPE II extended the preferences for 10 years, expanded coverage of duty-free treatment to more apparel products, particularly knit articles, and simplified the rules to make them easier to use. In providing preferential access to Haitian apparel imports, the HOPE Act gives Haitian firms a competitive price advantage over other foreign producers who must pay U.S. duties on apparel exports made from yarns and fabrics supplied by non-regional e.g., Asian producers. Improved competitiveness of the apparel business is intended to attract long-term investment to Haitis primary export industry as part of a broader strategy to achieve sustainable economic growth and stability. HOPE II also amended the eligibility requirements by requiring Haiti to create a new independent Labor Ombudsmans Office and establish the Technical Assistance Improvement and Compliance Needs Assessment and Remediation TAICNAR Program within 16 months of enactment of the legislation.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science