The United States has enacted four laws that provide Haiti with an immense advantage over its competitors in the apparel industry. These are the Caribbean Basin Trade Preference Act (CBTPA), the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act of 2006, the HOPE Act of 2008 (HOPE II Act), and the Haiti Economic Lift Program of 2010 (HELP).
Most preferences provided under these laws are currently set to run through September 30, 2020.
Under these programs, Haitian apparel exports to the United States have been growing steadily, and will likely continue to expand to take advantage of duty-free access to the U.S. market.
The CBTPA, originally enacted in 2000, provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for certain apparel goods manufactured in Haiti. To qualify for preferences, yarns or fabrics have to be from the United States or covered Caribbean Basin countries.
The HOPE Act established preferences for apparel beyond those covered by the CBTPA. Importantly, it created the first preference program for Haitian apparel that allows duty-free treatment for certain apparel wholly assembled, knit, or knit-to-shape in Haiti, using yarns and fabrics from any country.
HOPE II further expanded preferences for apparel and certain non-apparel textile goods, and extended the duration of pre-existing preference programs.
The HELP Act again expanded and extended most preferences available under the CBTPA/HOPE/ HOPE II Acts to September 30, 2020.
Current Preference Highlights
- Duty-free access, with some exclusions, for up to 70 million square meter equivalents (SME) of knit apparel and 70 million SMEs of woven apparel without regard to the country of origin of the yarn, fabric or components, as long as the apparel is wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti; once the 70 million SME limits for knit and woven apparel are hit, the limits increase up to 200 million SMEs;
- Duty-free treatment for apparel wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti with between 50 and 60 percent value from Haiti, the United States, a U.S. free trade agreement partner or preference program beneficiary, or a combination thereof; this preference is currently set to expire in 2018;
- Duty-free treatment of knit or woven apparel under a “two for one” earned import allowance program: for every two SMEs of qualifying fabric (sourced from the United States or certain trade partner countries) used to produce exports for the U.S. in Haiti, one SME of nonqualifying fabric can also be used;
- Duty-free treatment for certain brassieres, luggage, headgear, and certain sleepwear; and
- Permission for Haitian goods to enter the United States duty-free if shipped either directly from Haiti or through the Dominican Republic.
- More information on these programs is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).