February 16,2010

Baucus, Grassley Pledge Support for Plus One for Haiti Program

Finance leaders commend U.S. Trade Representative, apparel industry effort to support Haitian economy

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) pledged their support for a new program to help strengthen Haiti’s economyand create sustainable employment in Haiti’s apparel sector. The program was announced today by U.S.Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk and the American apparel industry. Baucus and Grassley are also working with their colleagues to introduce trade legislation that will provide additional support to Haiti's apparel sector.

“The Administration and U.S. industry are providing critical assistance to Haiti, and the Plus One for Haiti program is a great example of a public-private partnership to help to spur job creation in Haiti at this difficult time,” Baucus said. “We will continue to work with our colleagues to craft legislation to provide immediate and long-term market access for Haitian products. I am committed to introducing and passing this legislation as quickly as possible.”

“I’m glad to see the private sector come together like this to help support the Haitian economy,” Grassley said. “Our response to the devastation and human suffering in Haiti demonstrates who we areand what we stand for. I will continue working with my colleagues to help further incentivize sustainable economic development in Haiti over the longer term.”

Kirk, along with representatives from Hanesbrands, GAP, and a Haitian textile manufacturer, announced the Plus One for Haiti program today. The program calls on the U.S. apparel industry to source one percent of its apparel imports from Haiti. Baucus and Grassley applauded this effort to provide sustainable, long-term economic support for Haiti after the already impoverished country was hit by adevastating earthquake last month.

Baucus and Grassley introduced two bills earlier this year, one to make it easier for American taxpayers to deduct donations to Haiti on their 2009 tax returns and another to aid American citizens returning home after the earthquake. Both bills were unanimously approved by Congress and have been signed into law.