May 5, 2006
The Honorable John Boehner
House Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Leader:
We are writing to express strong support for legislation that would expand the trade
relationship with Haiti known as the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through
Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act that has been crafted by House Ways and
Means Chairman Bill Thomas, Trade Subcommittee Chairman Clay Shaw, and Ranking
Member Charlie Rangel.
We believe passage of this legislation would be especially timely, given the recent
elections in Haiti and the upcoming inaugural for President-elect Preval.
As you know, Haiti has been mired in a vicious cycle of civil strife and political
instability that has created a desperate situation. It is our hope that the May 14
inauguration of President-elect Preval will constitute a fresh start for this country.
Ultimately, we need to focus on many areas to improve the lot of Haitians and to make
Haiti a more stable environment. This includes creating jobs, improving the security
situation in the country; rebuilding critical infrastruclure, such as ports and roads; and
reinforcing democratic institutions and the rule of law.
The HOPE bill is a modest but important step toward those goals. It will expand upon
the preference program already in place by fostering new incentives for companies to
maintain and create jobs in the apparel sector. Moreover, the legislation will do so in a
way that does not adversely affect U.S. textile interests.
We encourage you to make time in the Congressional calendar so the HOPE legislation
can be quickly taken up, approved, and enacted.
Thank you for your consideration.
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
Caribbean – Central American Action (C-CAA)
US Chamber of Commerce
May 5, 2006