Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander M. Levin (D-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), along with Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (D-MI), Finance Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) introduced legislation to help speed Haiti's economic recovery following the devastating January earthquake that shattered the country's economy. The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act, introduced in both the House and Senate, expands duty-free access to the U.S. market for additional Haitian textile and apparel exports and extends existing trade preference programs for Haiti through 2020.
“On January 12, Haiti met with an unthinkable crisis, one that no nation ever hopes to bear,” said Representative Charles B. Rangel, a longtime advocate for Haiti. “We were presented with a challenge too -- how to help our sister nation through such a crisis. This legislation is one critical part of the answer. The Haitian garment sector, Haiti's flagship industry, was making important strides prior to the earthquake and helping the country's economy establish a stable foothold. With this legislation, we will help to get the garment sector and Haiti's economy back on that critical trajectory.”
“legislation responds to the clear call to action Americans heard in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander M. Levin. “This legislation provides important incentives to expand trade and investment in Haiti and it does so in a manner respectful of the complementarities of the industries in our two countries. It reflects careful consideration and collaboration with stakeholders here in the United States as well as Haitian industry representatives and provides a way forward that works to the benefit of workers and businesses in both countries.”
“I am proud that we have been able to craft a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that provides meaningful assistance to Haiti and addresses the concerns of our U.S. industry,” said Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp. “These benefits will encourage the long term investment Haiti desperately needs for its economic recovery and future stability. This legislation builds on the short term assistance that Congress provided earlier this year to accelerate the tax benefits for charitable donations to the Haitian relief effort. I am pleased to have participated in both these efforts. These are excellent examples of how Congress can work in a bipartisan fashion to promote trade and investment in the region and to create strong hemispheric partnerships.”
“The devastating earthquake in Haiti took the lives – and livelihoods – of hundreds of thousands of our neighbors in Haiti, and they need our help to begin rebuilding their country,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said. “By improving access to the U.S. market for Haitian textile and apparel products, our bill will provide the long-term assistance Haiti needs to get back on its feet. This bill is a common-sense approach with support from both sides of the aisle in both the House and Senate, and I urge my colleagues to work with us to quickly pass this legislation.”