Originally: Senate Votes to End Haiti Clothes Duties
WASHINGTON – Haiti would be allowed to sell clothing to the United States duty-free once the White House certifies the country was making progress in the protection of human rights, the Senate voted Friday.
The legislation, approved by voice vote, is aimed at helping a country whose economy is near ruin, thanks in part to decades of political tumult.
Its passage came a week before a conference at the World Bank (news – web sites) in Washington of countries considering donations of aid to the Caribbean nation.
The bill would extend trade preferences to Haiti for the next seven years. Each year, the president would have to certify to Congress that Haiti is moving toward a free-market economy and democratic practices and not supporting terrorism or violating human rights.
The House has yet to act on a similar measure.
The bill is S. 2261.
On the Net:
Haiti Economic Recovery Opportunity Act of 2004 (Introduced in Senate)
S 2261 IS
To expand certain preferential trade treatment for Haiti.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 30, 2004
Mr. DEWINE (for himself, Mr. GRAHAM of Florida, Mr. LUGAR, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. CHAFEE, Mr. DODD, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Mr. VOINOVICH, and Mr. SUNUNU) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To expand certain preferential trade treatment for Haiti.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Haiti Economic Recovery Opportunity Act of 2004′.
SEC. 2. TRADE BENEFITS TO HAITI.
(a) IN GENERAL- The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 213 the following new section:
`SEC. 213A. SPECIAL RULE FOR HAITI.
`(a) IN GENERAL- In addition to any other preferential treatment under this Act, beginning on October 1, 2003, and in each of the 7 succeeding 1-year periods, apparel articles described in subsection (b) that are imported directly into the customs territory of the United States from Haiti shall enter the United States free of duty, subject to the limitations described in subsections (b) and (c), if Haiti has satisfied the requirements set forth in subsection (d).
`(b) APPAREL ARTICLES DESCRIBED- Apparel articles described in this subsection are apparel articles that are wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti from any combination of fabrics, fabric components, components knit-to-shape, and yarns without regard to the country of origin of the fabrics, components, or yarns.
`(c) PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT- The preferential treatment described in subsection (a), shall be extended–
`(1) during the 12-month period beginning on October 1, 2003, to a quantity of apparel articles that is equal to 1.5 percent of the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States during the 12-month period beginning October 1, 2002; and
`(2) during the 12-month period beginning on October 1 of each succeeding year, to a quantity of apparel articles that is equal to the product of–
`(A) the percentage applicable during the previous 12-month period plus 0.5 percent (but not over 3.5 percent); and
`(B) the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States during the 12-month period that ends on September 30 of that year.
`(d) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS- Haiti shall be eligible for preferential treatment under this section if the President determines and certifies to Congress that Haiti–
`(1) has established, or is making continual progress toward establishing–
`(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimizes government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets;
`(B) the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process, a fair trial, and equal protection under the law;
`(C) the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment, including by–
`(i) the provision of national treatment and measures to create an environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment;
`(ii) the protection of intellectual property; and
`(iii) the resolution of bilateral trade and investment disputes;
`(D) economic policies to reduce poverty, increase the availability of health care and educational opportunities, expand physical infrastructure, promote the development of private enterprise, and encourage the formation of capital markets through microcredit or other programs;
`(E) a system to combat corruption and bribery, such as signing and implementing the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; and
`(F) protection of internationally recognized worker rights, including the right of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor, a minimum age for the employment of children, and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health;
`(2) does not engage in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests; and
`(3) does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or provide support for acts of international terrorism and cooperates in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations and terrorist activities.’.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE-
(1) IN GENERAL- The amendment made by subsection (a) applies with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after October 1, 2003.
(2) RETROACTIVE APPLICATION TO CERTAIN ENTRIES- Notwithstanding section 514 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1514) or any other provision of law, upon proper request filed with the Customs Service before the 90th day after the date of the enactment of this Act, any entry or withdrawal from warehouse for consumption, of any goods described in the amendment made by subsection (a)–
(A) that was made on or after October 1, 2003, and before the date of the enactment of this Act, and
(B) with respect to which there would have been no duty if the amendment made by subsection (a) applied to such entry or withdrawal,
shall be liquidated or reliquidated as though such amendment applied to such entry or withdrawal.