Rep. Kendrick B. Meek and Wyclef Jean

Statement of U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-Fla.) 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Kendrick B. Meek issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s authorization of HOPE Act trade benefits to Haiti: 

“As one who has been working hard for years for Haiti trade benefits, this is a great day.  The Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE) is a positive first step toward revitalizing the Haitian textile industry. 

“One tenth of Haitian GDP comes from garment exports.  The average Haitian garment worker earns $4 a day, while 77% of Haitians live on less than $2 a day.  In 2004, the Haitian textile industry employed over 25,000 garment workers; today, the industry supports only 12,000 workers; and according to early estimates, the HOPE Act could result in the employment of 30,000 new Haitian garment workers – 30,000 badly needed jobs that will put the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere on the path toward improved economic development. 
“I will be traveling to Haiti in a few weeks to check on the progress there in implementing the HOPE Act. 
The Haiti HOPE Act passed the U.S. Congress in December 2006. 

Congressman Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL) serves on the Committee on Ways and Means, and is a member of the Subcommittee on Trade which has jurisdiction on all trade related matters in Congress, including the HOPE Act.