WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the Haiti Economic Lift Program Extension (HELP) Act. The bipartisan legislation would extend trade benefits for apparel products produced in Haiti from 2025 to 2035. The products that are eligible for these benefits comprise 93 percent of Haitian exports and are a vital source of dignified employment for thousands of Haitians, who would otherwise turn to violent gangs for employment or seek to enter the United States illegally.
“Natural disasters and political unrest have devastated families in Haiti,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Extending trade benefits is good for the U.S., provides the starving Haitian people with needed resources, and will help stem the exodus from the island.”
“It is in our national interest to help Haiti as it faces unimaginable hardships as a result of political corruption, natural disasters, and rampant crime. The HELP Act is an important bipartisan measure that will extend trade benefits and boost the country’s largest industry,” said Senator Rubio.
In the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Congress passed the HELP Act to broaden the types of goods eligible for duty free status to over 5,000 types of apparel and footwear. The law, which helped rebuild some of Haiti’s domestic industry, is set to expire in 2025.
In December 2021, Cassidy and Rubio introduced legislation to reauthorize the Haitian Hemisphere Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act and the HELP Act.