The CBTPA predominately supports trade with Haiti

The CBTPA predominately supports trade with Haiti

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has urged President Donald Trump to sign the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which expired yesterday (30 September), into law as a matter of urgency.

AAFA president and CEO, Steve Lamar, welcomed the passage of legislation by the Senate on 23 September that would extend the CBTPA to 30 September 2030. The programme provides textile and apparel trade preferences to Caribbean countries. It predominately supports trade with Haiti, with 30% of Haitian exports to the US coming under the trade pact. At the same time, the programme supports US textile jobs due to the requirement that apparel imports to the US utilise US-made yarns and fabrics.

The trade pact, however, has now expired, and in a statement late yesterday, Lamar said: "With the CBTPA scheduled to expire in just a few hours, the apparel and footwear industry is thankful for the speed in which the Senate moved this legislation after it was approved by the House last week. In particular, the efforts of Senators McConnell, Schumer, Grassley, Wyden, and Cardin, as well as former Senator Isakson, were essential in moving this bill, which supports US textile jobs and the growing industry in Haiti.

"We now urge President Trump to sign the bill into law quickly to ensure this ten-year renewal of the CBTPA that will foster predictable and stable trade with Haiti and support US jobs."

AAFA is a strong supporter CBTPA and has been calling for the renewal of the programme for some time. In April, AAFA sent a letter to Congress emphasising its importance.

On 28 August, AAFA led a group of associations in a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, calling for him to convey support for the programme in conversations with Congress.

The latest action follows a similar letter by that group of associations to every Senator urging CBTPA's speedy renewal.