Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett shared the following statement on the introduction of the HOPE for Haitian Prosperity Act of 2023 (H.R. 5035):
“I am pleased to introduce this timely legislation with my fellow Democratic colleagues, Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL). This bill will extend the U.S. preferential duty treatment program provided for Haiti under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) of 1983 for an additional ten years, through 2035. The bill also authorizes new technical assistance and capacity building in Haiti and contains additional authorities for enforcement of internationally recognized labor standards and the labor standards of Haiti.”
Haiti is experiencing a humanitarian, political and economic crisis and needs both economic and political stability. Haitian production and jobs would be benefited by receiving the certainty of longer-term trading access to the United States.
“A secure and prosperous Haiti benefits us all,” said Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. “This legislation injects stability to the region, supports workers on the ground, and meets our nations’ shared goals.”
The HOPE for Haitian Prosperity Act would extend the period during which imports of certain Haitian-manufactured textile and apparel, and other goods produced in Haiti are eligible for duty-free treatment from 2025 to 2035 and contains provisions to authorize additional technical assistance and capacity building in Haiti to close utilization gaps in the program found by the International Trade Commission.
“I am proud to support the HOPE for Haitian Prosperity Act of 2023, which will reauthorize and modernize our trade preference programs with Haiti,” said Rep. Sewell. “As Haiti faces a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, we must use all the tools at our disposal to promote stability and economic opportunity. By reauthorizing and strengthening our trade preference programs with Haiti, America can demonstrate that we are committed to the long-term prosperity of the Haitian people. I would also like to thank my friend and colleague Rep. Stacey Plaskett for her leadership on this important legislation.”
Congresswoman Plaskett also shared, “I continue to emphasize the great importance of U.S. trade engagement in the Caribbean region. The United States has a responsibility to support its Caribbean neighbors and, while the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE Act) and the Haiti Economic Lift Program Act (HELP Act) have helped create support for the Haitian economy, this legislation seeks to establish more comprehensive and diverse trade engagement between the U.S. and Haiti, including by uplifting Haitian workers with high labor standards.
“It is my hope that this legislation creates the foundation for stronger bilateral economic ties, greater certainty for investors that these benefits will be there for Haiti over the long term, and the economic security that is needed for Haiti to rebuild from the ground up and emerge more prosperous and resilient.
“I would like to thank Reps. Terri Sewell and Earl Blumenauer for their support in co-leading this important bill. This legislation, if passed out of the Ways and Means Committee, would proceed to the House floor for a full vote. If passed there, would need to be voted on in the Senate. If passed in the House and the Senate, it would then be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”