Bill Clinton, George Bush urge Congress to give Haiti trade preferences

The Miami HeraldApril 16, 2010 

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are urging members of Congress to allow a quake-ravaged Haiti to triple the amount of knit and woven fabrics it currently exports to the U.S. under a duty-free access trade legislation.

The increase, the former presidents wrote this week in a letter, would help attract the kinds of investments needed to help create thousands of new jobs in Haiti, which is struggling to recover from the Jan. 12, 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

The quake left some 300,000 dead, according to the government, and an equal number of Haitians injured.

Bush and Clinton are also seeking an extension from eight to 15 years of the trade preferences in the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) legislation.

The request, said Clinton spokesman Angel Urena, is in "keeping with the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund's mission to respond to near-term unmet needs in post-earthquake Haiti."

The goal, he added, is not just to "help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives and livelihoods, but to build back better."

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