Bishops Thank Congress for Working on Extension and Improvement of Trade Preferences for Haiti

May 5, 2010 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—By extending and improving trade preferences for Haiti, Congress “will send a clear signal that the United States is prepared to take the necessary steps to improve the lives of thousands of Haitians both in the short-term and in the long-term,” said Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y. In a May 4 letter, Bishop Hubbard, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, thanked the sponsors of the Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010 for introducing the bill (HR 5160 and S 3275) and called on the House and Senate to move swiftly to approve the legislation.

In an earlier letter to the Administration, Bishop Hubbard argued that Haiti should have an integrated strategy to help Haiti recover. International assistance and debt relief are needed, but alone are not enough. “A critically important part of the integrated strategy we recommended was the extension and improvement of the trade preference levels (TPLs) that Haiti was granted through the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Acts (HOPE I and HOPE II), which our Conference strongly supported,” Bishop Hubbard wrote. This bill “will give investors and retailers a clear signal that the United States has a strong commitment to help Haiti recover and rebuild, especially the Haitian economy, in the long-term.”  Bishop Hubbard added: “The light manufacturing sector was not as damaged as other parts of Port-au-Prince during the earthquake and thus could generate desperately needed employment. Thousands of jobs will be quickly created in Haiti if this legislation passes.”

The letter from Bishop Hubbard can be found online

Keywords: Haiti, trade, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, International Justice and Peace, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renewing Hope for Haitian Trade and Investment Act