Rep. Wenstrup Introduces the HELP Extension Act of 2023 to Extend Trade Partnership with Haiti
Washington, September 20, 2023
Wasington, D.C. - Today, Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the HELP Extension Act of 2023 to extend the HOPE (Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement)-HELP (Haiti Economic Lift Program) trade preferences for 10 years. HOPE-HELP works in conjunction with the broader trade preferences system known as the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) to incentivize greater trade and cooperation with Haiti. Representative Wenstrup was joined by Reps. Greg Murphy (R-NC), Federica S. Wilson (D-FL), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL).
“By extending the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act and the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act, the United States can send an important message of support to our friends and neighbors in Haiti who are dealing with a horrific humanitarian crisis as a result of gang violence and political instability,” said Rep. Brad Wenstrup. “This legislation is important for our economy, as it will continue the work Congress is doing to near-shore our supply chains and diversify away from adversarial trading partners like China while helping our Haitian neighbors. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to build bipartisan support for renewing this important trade program.”
"I have traveled to Haiti numerous times as a medical missionary. As such I am in frequent communication with those on the ground in Haiti who continue to share stories of the utter chaos enveloping the country. I know firsthand that helping vulnerable nations aids in establishing prosperity and thus creates stability. Such interventions begin by lifting their economy and bolstering their industries from the ground up. In light of the continued chaos and horrific violence that has consumed the nation in recent months, it is important now more than ever that we renew the HOPE/HELP program," said Rep. Greg Murphy.
“I'm proud to co-sponsor the HELP Extension Act, which, alongside the HOPE Act, sends a resounding message of support to our friends and neighbors in Haiti in its crisis brought by violence and instability. This legislation aids our economy, reinforces our commitment to Haiti, and aligns with our efforts to strengthen supply chains and reduce reliance on challenging trading partners like China. Reintroducing this bill is crucial during this critical moment in Haiti's history, and we must ensure this program does not expire,” said Rep. Federica S. Wilson
“NY-17 has one of the largest Haitian diasporas in the country. Many of my constituents still have family in Haiti. As the country continues to struggle with violent crime and political unrest, it is critical that we support the Haitian people and help provide them with economic stability during this tumultuous time," said Rep. Mike Lawler. "That is why I’m proud to co-lead the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Extension Act, which will extend duty free status for certain Haitian exports. Not only will this uplift Haiti’s economy, it will decrease U.S. dependency on Chinese goods. That’s something we can all support and I look forward to working with my colleagues to help the HELP Extension Act become law.”
“In the middle of a crisis of biblical proportions in Haiti, it is vital that businesses remain in the country to provide jobs, growth, and stability,” said Rep. Elvira Salazar. “The HOPE/HELP trade programs employ over 10,000 people in Haiti, and I am fighting to renew these programs for another 10 years. Congress must ensure these policies continue for the good of the Haitian people and stability in the region.”
“To create long-term stability in Haiti, there must first be a solid foundation for economic opportunity and growth,” said Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Co-Chair of the Haiti Caucus. “The HOPE/HELP trade preference program has helped do just this, boosting the apparel sector and spurring job creation across the country. At a time when Haiti finds itself plagued by uncertainty, this program must continue uninterrupted.”
"For twenty years, Haiti has been an integral part of Cintas’ supply chain. The near-shore production, short lead times, and workforces committed to quality of our valued Haitian vendors provides Cintas with great flexibility in meeting our customers’ needs. We are appreciative of Rep. Wenstrup’s support and leadership to help renew a program that is the founding pillar of U.S. trade rules with Haiti," said John Vu, Vice President, Global Supply Chain, Cintas Corporation.