WASHINGTON, D.C.-The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH). Through the agreement, both organizations say they aim to collaborate on issues related to the garment and footwear industries.
“Haiti is a special partner in the global apparel and footwear value chain and continues to inspire our industry as we formalize the relationship with the Association of Industries of Haiti,” says Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the AAFA. “After years of hardship, the business is finally growing again, and this is a very important time for our association to join in this international partnership; one that will provide opportunities for our membership and for the proud citizens of Haiti.”
The ADIH is a private-sector organization that represents more than 100 companies in Haiti from industries like apparel, chemicals, agriculture, and construction. The institution says it serves as “the respected collective voice to promote and develop the Haitian industrial sector, on a globally competitive scale.”
The Caribbean country which has suffered a myriad of economic setbacks, largely through natural disasters, is home to large-scale manufacturing operations that produce everything from T-shirts to polos to pants and shoes for numerous wholesale and retail brands. The AAFA estimates that approximately 55,000 workers are employed in the apparel industry in Haiti. This workforce, the association points out, contributes approximately $871 million in exports to the U.S.
“ADIH is honored to work with an organization as respected as the (AAFA), which represents many of the great brands ADIH members do business with as part of an integrated supply chain,” adds Georges B. Sassine, president of ADIH. “Partnering with AAFA is critically important to strengthen the longstanding ties between U.S. companies and Haiti’s manufacturing industry to promote mutually sustainable economic benefits. ADIH and its members are appreciative of and excited by this opportunity.”
The news comes as the AAFA continues to push for progress in international trade in the apparel sector. In late March 2018, the organization sent a letter to President Trump voicing their concerns over proposed import tariffs, arguing that some of these duties could severely impact the garment industry.
For more information, visit https://www.aafaglobal.org/.