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Haiti Joins TAAT

The Association of Industries of Haiti has become the 31st trade group to join the Textile and Apparel Alliance for TPP (TAAT), which comprises trade associations advocating strong and fair textile rules in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement currently being negotiated among 11 countries around the Pacific Rim.

All TAAT members are from countries that have free trade or preference trade programs with the United States, and some also are parties to the TPP. They are particularly concerned about proposals by Vietnam, also a TPP party, to exclude a yarn-forward rule of origin, long tariff phase-outs for sensitive products and strong customs rules from the final agreement, thus enabling potential duty-free transshipments of textile components from China.

"Apparel production in Haiti supports tens of thousands of desperately needed jobs in Haiti. Since the devastating earthquake, we are proud to have opened new textile and apparel plants and we believe this industry has a bright future in our country," said Gregor Avril, executive director of the Haitian association, noting that 90 percent of Haiti's exports to the United States comprise apparel. "If Vietnam's proposals are included in a final TPP agreement, our bright future is ended and Haiti's economy will be hit hard because our industry will be devastated."

March/April 2013