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Congress passes bill that could create new jobs in Haiti

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Oxfam is supporting the relocation and eventual reopening of this vocational center, which was destroyed during the Haiti earthquake. Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam
Oxfam is supporting the relocation and eventual reopening of this vocational center, which was destroyed during the Haiti earthquake. Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam

We wanted to share the good news about an important win for the Haitian people. Congress has recently passed the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act, a bill that allows Haiti to increase its apparel exports to the US duty free and extends existing US trade preference programs with Haiti for 10 years.

Supporters like you responded to an email message  from Oxfam asking you to contact your legislators and call for the passage of the bill. Now, the HELP Act is poised to create badly needed jobs in the garment industry sector in Haiti, which employed 25,000 people before the January quake (nearly 10 percent of formal sector employment) and accounted for nearly 80 percent of export earnings.

“Companies are ready to invest in Haiti; they need incentives to invest in Haiti to expand exports, and that requires dropping the barriers we have to Haitian apparel products,” said Stephanie Burgos, senior policy advisor for Oxfam America. “The HELP Act provides these incentives by significantly increasing the amount of Haitian apparel products that can be imported to the US duty free.”

“The US is Haiti’s primary market for apparel exports,” Burgos said. “And this bill will help generate much-needed jobs for Haitians working to rebuild their lives.”

To learn more about Oxfam’s work to help the people of Haiti rebuild their country their way, go to www.oxfamamerica.org/haiti.

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