CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. May 6, 2010: Haiti`s textile industry has received a trade break in the U.S. House of Representative.
The House on Wednesday voted by a voice vote to approve trade breaks aimed at helping the country, which is still recover from the devastating January 12th earthquake.
The measure allows for an expanded range of textile products and apparel to be exported to the United States duty-free and it nearly triples the levels under which certain knit and woven apparel products may receive duty-free treatment.
The vote also extends through 2020 a trade program that had contributed to Haiti`s economic growth before the earthquake.
Textiles and apparel are Haiti`s most important export to the United States, with apparel exports reaching $513 million last year.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush praised the House action.
Meanwhile, in the Senate Wednesday, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., proposed legislation that would authorize up to $3.5 billion over five years to support Haiti’s reconstruction.
The U.S. Congress has already passed legislation making it easier to contribute to Haitian relief efforts and calling on international financial groups to forgive Haitian debts.