March 20, 2024

Five US industry associations recently wrote to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance requesting support for the immediate and long-term reauthorisation of the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and the Haiti Economic Lift Programme (HELP) Acts, commonly known as HOPE/HELP.

The HOPE/HELP trade preference programme, set to expire in 2025, allows duty-free access for certain apparel products from Haiti. Despite the many challenges Haiti faces, HOPE/HELP has allowed Haiti to build a thriving garment sector, the letter by the associations said.

“We strongly urge Congress to renew this essential legislation for at least a further ten years,” their letter said.

The associations are the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).

“HOPE/HELP has been foundational in facilitating investment in Haiti’s garment sector and the security of this program’s long-term renewal is critical for continued operations in the region,” it noted.

“With the programme expiring in two short years, every month that goes by without a reauthorisation increases the risk of factories and buyers leaving Haiti. Some already have,” it added.

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