Monday, October 26, 2009
Trade preferences were extended to Haiti by The United States after President Barack Obama certified that the country had fulfilled workers' rights criteria.
It was announced that Haiti will continue to benefit from a legislative programme called HOPE II which allows duty-free access to the US market for certain Haitian-made apparel and other articles, with the goals of fostering stability and economic development in Haiti.
For Haiti to receive the benefits, the country was required to establish an independent labour ombudsman's office and a program operated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to assess compliance with core labour rights in Haitian factories.
The country also had to agree to acquire local producers that wish to be eligible for duty free treatment under HOPE II to participate in the ILO programme and to develop a system to ensure such participation.
President Obama has notified Congress that Haiti has met these requirements.
The Chairman of the White House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Charles Rangel, stated Mr. Obama's certification that Haiti had met the requirements was another powerful signal that Haiti was ready for business.