H.R. 5160 Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010

Status: April 28, 2010 - Introduced in the House.  
               May 5, 2010 - Passed the House by voice vote
               May 6, 2010 - Passed the Senate 
 

Press release upon House passage.

Documents:

Click here for the text of the H.R. 5160 Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010

Summary:

  • Extends CBTPA and HOPE - The bill extends the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE) through September 30, 2020.

  • Expands the Wholly Assembled List - The bill provides duty-free treatment for additional textile and apparel products that are wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti regardless of the origin of the inputs.

  • Increases the Tariff Preference Levels - The bill increases from 70 million square meter equivalents (SMEs) to 200 million SMEs the respective tariff preference levels (TPLs) under which certain Haitian knit and woven apparel products may receive duty-free treatment regardless of the origin of the inputs. The increase will be triggered in any given year if 52 million SMEs of Haitian apparel enter the United States under the existing knit or woven TPL. Once the increase is triggered, certain knit apparel products entering duty-free under the knit TPL will be subject to an 85 million SME sublimit, and certain woven apparel products entering duty-free under the woven TPL will be subject to a 70 million SME sublimit.

  • Safeguards against Transshipment - The bill requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to verify that apparel articles imported under the TPLs are not being unlawfully transshipped into the United States. The bill also authorizes the President to reduce the TPLs to account for unlawful apparel transshipment.

  • Liberalizes the Earned Import Allowance Rule - The bill permits the duty-free importation into the United States of one SME of apparel wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti regardless of the origin of the inputs for every two SMEs of qualifying fabric purchased from the United States.

  • Extends the Value-Added Rule - The bill extends until December 20, 2015, the rule that provides duty-free treatment for apparel wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti with at least 50 percent value from Haiti, the United States, a U.S. free trade agreement partner or preference program beneficiary, or a combination thereof. The bill similarly extends until December 20, 2017, duty-free treatment for Haitian apparel with at least 55 percent of value from qualifying countries, and until December 20, 2018, duty-free treatment for Haitian apparel with at least 60 percent of value from qualifying countries.

  • Extends Duty-Free Treatment for Wire Harnesses - The bill extends until December 20, 2016, the rule that provides duty-free treatment for wire harness automotive components imported from Haiti.

  • Customs Support Services - The bill requires CBP to assess Haiti’s customs-related needs and provide assistance to reestablish Haiti’s port operations. The bill also requires CBP to provide to the Congress a report that describes Haiti’s customs infrastructure needs, sets forth a plan for providing technical assistance, and describes any funds expended to assist Haiti in rebuilding its customs infrastructure. And the bill authorizes funds to help Haiti meet its immediate customs infrastructure needs, and to maintain a U.S. customs team in Haiti.

  • Sense of Congress - The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative should consult with U.S. trading partners to encourage the establishment of unilateral preference programs with Haiti, and that CBP should consult with U.S. trading partners to prevent unlawful transshipment of textile and apparel products through Haiti into the United States. 


Subcommittees: