The AAFA stressed the importance of the US government continuing to support measures such as the Hope/Help trade programme which are instrumental in ending violence, reinforcing democratic institutions, and facilitating swift economic recovery to prevent further exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis looming over Haiti.

The AAFA’s letter addressed to speaker Mike Johnson, minority leaders Hakeem Jeffries and Mitch McConnell and majority leader Chuck Schumer explained Haiti is at a critical juncture: “The extension of the state of emergency, the recent resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, and the closures of the airport and main port due to a surge in gang violence has made Haiti an increasingly difficult place to do business.”

The AAFA’s hope is that the US Government will continue to support measures that will bring about an end to violence, support democratic institutions, and enable quick economic recovery to avoid a worsening humanitarian crisis.

The association reminded Congress of a cost-effective solution at its disposal through the passage of the Haiti Economic Lift Program Extension Act of 2023 (H.R.5614 and S.552), introduced by congressional colleagues.

The AAFA stated: “Congress has a great opportunity now to provide much-needed stability to the Haitian people by passing legislation for the long-term renewal of Haiti Hope/Help now.”

Through the immediate renewal of the Hope/Help trade bill, set to expire next year, AAFA explained it would grant duty-free access to select apparel products from Haiti, creating over 50,000 formal Haitian jobs, providing livelihoods for tens of thousands more individuals and supporting their communities.

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The letter added: “Companies are now having to guess whether they should place orders now for importation that will occur after the scheduled expiration of Hope/Help, an impossible dynamic that is eroding future business today.”

With the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) already expired for nearly 40 months, the AAFA noted that immediate renewal of the Hope/Help trade bill is paramount to providing assurance and stability to US businesses operating in Haiti.

The association argued the US businesses that invest in this sector are committed to their operations and workers even during these “dire times” but need assurance
that the HOPE/HELP programme will continue without interruption.

Earlier this week, the AAFA sent a letter to President Biden urging the administration to restart labour contract negotiations with dockworkers to avoid US East and Gulf Coast port disruptions.