Haiti Relief

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced a plan to encourage American clothing companies and retailers to source at least 1 percent of their total apparel production in Haiti. The Plus 1 for Haiti program was unveiled while Kirk was at the MAGIC Marketplace in Las Vegas on Feb. 16. Under the program, the USTR will work with American companies, Haitian business leaders and government officials to address existing roadblocks to Haitian apparel exports. Currently, apparel goods shipped from Haiti enter the United States duty-free under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Partnership Encouragement Act (Hope II), which was passed in 2008. The apparel industry has been an important economic vehicle for Haiti, hit by a devastating 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12 that killed more than 200,000. The apparel industry employed 28,000 workers and accounted for two-thirds of the country’s exports.