Haiti Joins TAAT Alliance, Urges U.S. To Stand By Strong Textile Rules In TPP

WASHINGTON — February 19, 2013 — Haiti became the 31st country to join the TAAT alliance which is
seeking strong and fair textile rules in the TPP agreement.

Gregor Avril, the Executive Director of the Association of Industries of Haiti said, “We
stand with our free trade partners from around the world in urging the U.S. government to stand
firm for the strongest textile rules in the agreement. These include a yarn forward rule of origin,
long tariff phase-outs for sensitive products and strong and effective customs rules and

Vietnam, the second largest apparel exporter to the United States, has proposed to eliminate
the textile rules that have been present in every FTA for the past 25 years. By changing the
textile rules, Vietnam would open up a loophole so that China could backdoor its subsidized textile
components through Vietnam and into the United States without paying duties.

Avril stated, “Apparel production in Haiti supports tens of thousands of desperately needed
job in Haiti. Since the devastating earthquake, we are proud to have opened new textile and apparel
plants and we believe this industry has a bright future in our country. Moreover, apparel accounts
for 90 percent of Haiti’s exports to the United States and earns badly needed foreign exchange for
our country. However, if Vietnam’s proposals are included in a final TPP agreement, our bright
future is ended and Haiti’s economy will be hit hard because our industry will be devastated.”

TAAT comprises trade groups from 31 countries that have free trade and preference trade
programs with the United States. These groups employ more than two million direct workers in the
textile and apparel trade and support more than $30 billion in two way trade with the United
States. They are made up of mostly small and medium sized family owned companies. Studies have
shown that Vietnam’s proposal would lead to the destruction of most of the textile and apparel
production in the Western Hemisphere, Africa and the Middle East. This production has been on the
upswing during the last several years.

Vietnam is the second largest apparel exporter to the United States. The largest apparel
company in Vietnam is Vinatex, a state-owned and subsidized company that employs more than 500,000

Posted on February 19, 2013

Source: Textile and Apparel Alliance for TPP