Neal Asks Trade Commission to Investigate Impact of Haiti Preference Programs

Feb 22, 2022
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) Chairman Jason E. Kearns requesting that the Commission initiate a factfinding investigation on preference programs for Haiti to help better understand Haiti’s recent past trade practices to inform how U.S. trade can facilitate positive results and improved benefits for Haiti’s economy and people. The Chairman specifically requested that the investigation and report include the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act of 2006, HOPE II in 2008, the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) in 2010, as well as the regional Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). This request reflects a longstanding commitment among members of the Committee to strengthening the U.S.-Haitian trade and investment relationship and support the development of a resilient and sustainable Haitian economy, which has historically led the region and the world in producing key products for global demand. 

“The HOPE and HELP preference programs are scheduled to expire on September 30, 2025. As the Committee assesses the existing programs, I request, on behalf of the Committee and pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, that the U.S. International Trade Commission (the Commission) conduct an investigation and provide a report on Haiti’s history of international trade since 1980, with special attention paid to the CBERA, Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), and HOPE/HELP preference programs and their impact on Haiti’s economy and workers,” wrote Neal. “I further request that the Commission provide several case studies showing the impact of these preference programs on selected industries of importance to Haiti’s economy.”  

Specifically, Chairman Neal asked that the review of these trade programs assess how those programs have impacted Haiti’s economy and workers. In addition, Chairman Neal requested case studies on selected goods currently or historically exported from Haiti, such as apparel, tropical fruits, and sporting goods, including baseballs, basketballs, and softballs. 

“I request that the Commission transmit its report no later than ten months following receipt of this request,” concluded Chairman Neal. “I intend to make the Commission’s report available to the public in its entirety; therefore, I request that the report not include confidential business information.” 

Read the Chairman’s full letter HERE