• September 1, 2009
  • Report

Thirty years ago, Haiti’s apparel industry was a reliable supplier of assembled goods to the U.S. market and employed as many as 100,000 workers. The intervening years have been difficult ones in Haiti. Meanwhile, businesses around the world have built competitive global supply chains and the global rules of trade have been rewritten. In this context, what trade advantages, if any, does Haiti’s apparel industry have and what are its strengths?

To answer this question, author Lynn Salinger analyzed

  • Haiti’s trade advantages under the HOPE II Act, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Agreement, and the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement;
  • Value-chain strengths and weaknesses; and
  • Factory-level costs in Haiti as compared to those of global suppliers.

The report concludes that Haiti has genuine strengths and advantages, such as duty-free access to the U.S. market, a skilled and low cost workforce, a broad array of U.S. clients, and a cooperation agreement with the ILO’s Better Work program that ensures good working conditions in factories.

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