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Haitian earthquake collapses apparel industry

March 1st, 2010 / By: / Industry News

The Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in 2006 and extended in 2008, boosted the Haitian apparel industry by allowing duty-free exports to the United States. Haiti has been the 17th largest supplier by volume of apparel products to the U.S., with exports up 22 percent between 2008 and 2009. In addition, apparel and textiles make up 75 percent of the country’s exports to the U.S. While the earthquake’s damage to basic infrastructure and manufacturing facilities will curtail exports in the short term, “it is more of a shift down … than it is a permanent decline in the rate of growth,” according to Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Florida.

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